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Sam Amison death: Inquest unable to find reason why teen took his own life

By Central Somerset Gazette  |  Posted: September 27, 2012

Sam Amison

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Friends and family of a popular and successful student at Strode College have been hearing the tragic details of his last hours at a New Year’s Eve party.

Sixteen-year-old Sam Amison had been celebrating at a party in Meare when other party-goers became concerned that he had disappeared.

However several of them gave written evidence to the inquest at East Somerset Coroner’s Court that they thought Sam, who had been studying four A-levels at the college and was planning to become a lawyer, had simply got bored and gone home.

But at around 2.20am the hugely popular student was found dead just metres from a tent where around 150 friends and acquaintances had been dancing.

The coroner, Tony Williams, said that in his opinion it was beyond reasonable doubt that Sam took his own life, but that they would never be able to establish why he had decided to commit suicide.

Sam, who was born on March 19, 1995 in Stoke-on-Trent, had moved to Glastonbury with his family and studied at St Dunstan’s school. He was described to the court in a number of written reports submitted by his friends, as a “popular and happy self with a friendly and positive attitude”.

After his GCSEs he moved to Strode College where he studied for A-levels in German, Pure Maths, Government and Politics and Law. Deputy principal of the college, Linda Rose told the coroner’s court that: “Sam was a delightful, happy, sensible and well balanced lad.”

According to his mother, Sam, who also loved music, was planning on becoming a lawyer after he went to university.

“I was very proud of him,” said Jo Amison, from Chilkwell Street in Glastonbury.

“He was a happy friendly and bright boy, who had until that night had never expressed any intentions to hurt himself.”

The coroner’s court heard that on New Year’s Eve Sam travelled at around 9pm to a party in Church Path, Meare. The hosts of the party had put up two large tents, one for dancing, the other described as a ‘chill out’ zone.

During the evening several friends reported that Sam was enjoying himself, although complaining about the quality of the music.

They then lost sight of him after midnight and another friend, who was not at the party, raised concerns when Sam called to say: “I am tired and I have had enough.”

But friend Tom Eavis said: “I wasn’t aware of anything troubling Sam.”

When Tom couldn’t get hold of Sam on his mobile his friends still didn’t raise the alarm because they believed he had simply gone home.

Then in the early hours of the morning his body was found beside a gate at the rear of the property.

The post mortem report showed that he had 122 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood in his system which the coroner said indicated someone who “wasn’t very drunk.”

Speaking after the verdict at Wells Town Hall, Sam’s mother Jo Amison said that she had been shocked by her son’s death. “Everyone has this idea that suicide happens to those kids who don’t talk and say anything to anyone and just sit in their room, but Sam wasn’t anything like that. He was such a happy person, we didn’t even argue. So if there is one thing I want to say is that this can happen to anyone, so please talk to your children.”

For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 08457 90 90 90 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details.

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