Gifted Teenager Hanged Herself In Family Garden Over A-Level Pressure

The grieving parents of a 17 year-old girl who hanged herself in the family home have claimed that she took her own life “because of pressure of A-level exams.”

Lisa Wilks hoped for a career in genetic research or teaching biology

Lisa Wilks hoped for a career in genetic research or teaching biology

Shortly before Lisa Wilks was due to sit a total of fifteen exams in five different subjects, her father Derek discovered her hanged in the garden of their family home in Thornton Cleveleys in Lancashire.

In the weeks before her suicide, Lisa had told her mother, 55 year-old Christine, that she wanted to hang herself after becoming upset about having to study six courses because she had originally been denied entry on the A-Level Chemistry course.

Recalling their conversation, Mrs Wilks told the inquest into Lisa’s death: “She felt she’d done all she could do and was getting to the point where she was sick of chemistry. A ‘B’ grade would have been good enough for most, but not for Lisa. I think she was unhappy at college. I said ‘hanging is for criminals, you’re not a criminal and we’d miss you terribly’. It was a case of, ‘I wish I was dead because I don’t have to do that’ rather than she was actually going to do it.”

The Blackpool inquest heard how Lisa had been a “clever pupil” who was keen to progress towards a career in genetic research or perhaps become a biology teacher. The coroner Alan Wilson recorded a verdict of suicide, saying: “It is a very sad set of circumstances involving a young lady of 17. It hasn’t gone particularly smoothly in terms of sixth form life.”

The Principal of Blackpool Sixth Form College, Felicity Greeves, said: “Lisa was a bright and ambitious student who was doing well academically in college and was a valued member of the choir. We always ask students to let us know if they need support and are always on the look-out for signs that support is needed. Tragically, in Lisa’s case there was no indication that she was having any difficulties either within college or outside.”

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