A YOUNG paramedic took her own life after receiving abuse online following photos of her littering, an inquest has heard.
The “well-loved” woman was found dead in her home in Gelli, Rhondda Cynon Taf, in April 2020.
Charlotte Cope, 23, was a member of the Welsh Ambulance Service. She suffered from an eating disorder, as well as anxiety.
On the day before her death, images of Miss Cope in her uniform were published online, along with claims she had been littering.
She was on her way to her night shift, when she was pictured standing next to her car, as well as a pile of litter.
Her line manager at Gelli Ambulance Station brought her attention to the post, where she admitted wrongdoing and claimed she would pay any fine that was issued to her.
However, by the next day, the images had been shared on social media hundreds of times, according to her family.
“I believe she would be here today if it wasn’t for that post,” Miss Cope’s mother, Heidi Cope, said following a hearing at South Wales Central Coroner’s Court, Pontypridd.
“That day she woke up to find the post had been shared hundreds of times and the messages being written about her were vile and she was too embarrassed.”
Miss Cope’s family said they believed she had never recovered from her eating disorder and was a “troubled soul”.
Miss Cope’s mother found her in her bedroom at roughly 8:30pm on April 13. The paramedics who attended the scene were friends and colleagues of Miss Cope’s.
In statements read out at the inquest hearing, they described her as “popular and well-loved” and expressed their shock at hearing the news.
Messages that had been left on Miss Cope’s phone claim she wanted the “horrendous” and “disturbing” thoughts in her head to stop. She also repeatedly expressed her apologies, and thanked her colleagues for all the memories they shared.
Rachel Knight, the assistant coroner, said: “Charlotte had a complex history including a longstanding eating disorder, depression and anxiety, and was further upset by a post on social media that likely caused her to be embarrassed.”
Recording the cause of death as suicide, Ms Knight said to the family: “I want to say how truly sorry I am for the loss of Charlotte. It is obvious to me how much you loved her, and how much she is missed.”
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