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'Outstanding' psychology student Ellie Campbell took her own life after spontaneous night out in Canterbury

An "outstanding" psychology student who took her own life after a spontaneous night out with friends, having showed no signs of depression or mental illness, an inquest has heard.

Ellie Campbell, 18, was found hanging in her room at Canterbury Christ Church University's halls of residence in St George's Centre by friends in the early hours of January 28.

Detective sergeant Nicky Holland-Day told the inquest at the Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone that Miss Campbell, from Basildon in Essex, had gone out drinking with flatmates in the city the previous evening.

Ellie Campbell died at Canterbury's St George's Centre
Ellie Campbell died at Canterbury's St George's Centre

They had been planning to go out the following night, but ended up spontaneously visiting the Wetherspoons and Jolly Sailor pubs, before then moving onto Club Chemistry.

Throughout the course of the night, Miss Campbell drank a mojito pitcher and four double vodkas and was said to be enjoying herself, but her mood then turned sombre at around 1.30am, the court heard.

She told friends she was going home, and left shortly after, taking some of her friends' belongings which they'd placed in her bag with her.

When she returned to St George's Centre at around 2.30am she met and spoke to a security guard she knew, greeting him with a hug, "rather than her usual fist-bump," DS Holland-Day said.

Her friends arrived back around half an hour later and tried to check on her but the bedroom door was locked.

They eventually gained access through the security guard and she was discovered hanging.

She was cut down and CPR was commenced before ambulance crews transferred her to William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, where a CT scan showed she had suffered a brain injury as a result of the hanging.

Miss Campbell was moved to the hospital's Intensive Treatment Unit but died on January 30.

St George's Place, Canterbury
St George's Place, Canterbury

DS Holland-Day added: "I am unable to say why this popular young girl with such a bright future ahead of her took her own life."

A post-mortem and toxicology report found she had 296mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, which is three times over the drink-drive limit, and often characterised by a coma.

Assistant coroner Katrina Hepburn told the court there was "nothing untoward" in the run-up to her death and that she had demonstrated no mental health issues or evidence of drug or alcohol abuse.

She said: "The evidence from Ellie's GP shows there was consultation in 2013 where there may have been a possibility of an eating disorder, but there doesn't seem to be any ongoing issues surrounding that.

"She appeared to be a fit and healthy young girl who went to Canterbury Christ Church University in September 2017 to study psychology.

"She was an outstanding student who was very committed to her studies.

"She had gained a group of friends at the halls of residence and was settling into university life well."

The inquest was heard at the Archbishop's Palace in Mill Street, Maidstone
The inquest was heard at the Archbishop's Palace in Mill Street, Maidstone

Ms Hepburn said the incident was not "a cry for help" given Miss Campbell was alone in a locked room, and suggested "the balance of her mind" may have been disturbed due to the alcohol consumed, and that she intended to take her own life.

She added: "Whether that would have been the case the following day, in the cold light of day, I don't know.

"I am satisfied there is no evidence of any third party involvement.

"Taking all that together, I am satisfied, so I am sure, that this is a suicide.

"Please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of Ellie."

For confidential support on an emotional issue, call Samaritans free on 116 123.

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