'Jasmine bullied to death on Facebook'
PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 September 2013 | UPDATED: 11:04 17 September 2013
THE parents of an 18-year-old Weston girl who was found hanged want the Government to come down hard on social networking sites after saying she was bullied to death on Facebook.
Jasmine Griffiths, described by friends and family as a ‘really lovely’, ‘popular’ girl who was ‘the life and soul of the party’, was found dead in the living room of her home after a party she had organised.
According to stepmother Kirsty Griffiths, in her final days Jasmine received messages telling her to ‘go die in a hole’ and branding her a ‘lying thieving ****’ on Facebook and Blackberry’s BBM instant message service.
Her family now say they are convinced the abuse was a ‘contributing factor’ in her death, and they want to see tougher Government action to tackle cyber bullying.
Her father Neil Griffiths, whose family owns The Barber Company in Weston and The Works barbers in Worle High Street, said: “It is the dark side of Facebook. I was disgusted. You just don’t say things like that to an 18-year-old girl.
“It was a contributing factor. If you take that whole chapter away, I think there is an element of ‘she would still be here’. I believe my daughter was bullied to death on Facebook. The Government should be putting some controls down.
“Going back 10 years we never had any of these platforms. No-one has to prove anything, anyone can just make accounts.
“It’s about accountability. This isn’t the first case of its kind.”
Flax Bourton Coroners Court heard on Thursday how Jasmine, a hairdressing student at Weston College, had thrown a party on April 13 last year.
Evidence revealed that Jasmine had been drinking and had mephedrone, also known as M-CAT, in her system at the time of her death.
Close friend Rebecca Hemmett gave evidence, stating that Jasmine had been ‘really excited’ about the party.
But in the days leading up to it, the teenager, of Selwood Close, had made reference to taking her own life in a conversation between the two, and had been stressed by a difficult relationship with a family member.
Ms Hemmett said: “A few days before the party she asked me what I would do if she killed herself.
“I thought it was a bit strange. But it was Jas. Jas came out with silly things all the time.
“She was quite stressed in that week because of her uncle.”
The court heard how Jasmine received a text from her uncle during the party suggesting he may turn up at the house, prompting her to begin locking doors. Friends say she was ‘scared’.
Another close friend, Zoe Conway, said Jasmine confided in her at the party, confessing she was finding it ‘hard to cope’.
Ms Conway said she was worried about her friend, but that when she tried to stay after the party, Jasmine pushed her out the front door and insisted she leave.
Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s DC Nicholas Riley told the court there was no evidence that anyone had entered the house after Jasmine’s friends left, no evidence of any assault or interference and no suicide note.
Assistant deputy coroner Peter Harrowing told the court that while he accepted that Jasmine had made the physical preparations to hang herself, he could not be sure she intended to take her life.
Mr Harrowing added: “She believed that her uncle was coming to the house and would find her and on that basis I can’t be sure beyond reasonable doubt that Jasmine intended to take her own life that day.”
The coroner’s conclusion was an open verdict.
But Mr Griffiths was unhappy with the way the case was dealt with, adding: “I don’t think the coroner got to the point of what caused Jasmine’s death.”