How a vulnerable girl was lured into killing herself by an Internet chatroom

Share this article

A teenager was lured into killing herself after logging on to an Internet chatroom, her best friend has revealed.

Sarah Cherry, 19, of Giller Drive, Penwortham, took her own life after discussing her plans over the Internet and buying suicide manual Final Exit from online store Amazon.com.

Friend Kelly Rampling said Sarah had been urged to commit suicide by other visitors to the chatroom.

The tragic teenager saved a record of all her posts on the site for those close to her to read after her death – hoping that it would help them to understand and come to terms with her decision.

Kelly, also 19, of Green Drive, Penwortham, said: "When I heard about the website, I was going to try and get it banned – but Sarah said no because most of the people on there were trying to help each other.

"In her letter, she said that it helped her.

"She said they were just helping each other but she did say that some people were just, like, 'Go and kill yourself,' but she said that the ones she spoke to were helping each other.

"She said there were people on there that were helping her. Some of them are talking about how to do it but some of them are helping each other.

"She said she didn't talk to the ones that were talking about how to do it – but she must have really.

"She saved all her posts on the Internet for people to read.

"I think she wanted us to understand why she did what she did."

Sarah described her sadness in a letter she left behind. It read: "I feel like I'm lost in an ocean and my friends are a life raft – but I'm just pulling them down."

Kelly spoke lovingly of her friend who dreamed of joining the Navy, loved skateboarding and naturally kindhearted.

Sarah had talked about adopting children just the day before her death because she couldn't bear the thought of so many unloved children.

Kelly said: "She was kind and she was caring. She was a care assistant because she loved helping people.

"She was just such a kind and loving girl. It was such a shock to us all. I still can't believe it.

"It's just like she's going to come through the door at any moment or like I'm going to pick her up.

"She was my best friend and I saw her every day. I miss her so much, it's really horrible.

"The letter does help to understand why she did it. It just told us how much pain she was in, how she hated living and that there was no help for her.

"She had been depressed for about five years, although she hid it from us.

"She saw a psychiatrist and was on medication but she didn't seem to think it helped her.

"She was such an intelligent girl. Nobody thought she would do something like that but she planned it all.

"The night before, I dropped her off at her house and she gave me a big hug – and she didn't really hug her friends. I said, "What was that for? and she said, "Oh, nothing.

"That was the last time I saw her."

The pair worked together as carers for an agency. They would be sent to care for the elderly or infirm and Sarah's caring nature made her perfect for the job.

Kelly said: "She's happy now and it's what she wanted, I suppose."

Her childhood friend, Rebecca Maddock, who lives just two doors away, said: "She was a loving person and couldn't do anything wrong.

"She was a good friend and it was a huge shock when her mum told me what had happened.

"She loved her job. She would come home and say, "I've done this today,' or, 'I helped this old lady today.' She really loved helping people."

Just days after the tragedy, Kelly crashed and wrote off her 12,000 new car as she blindly drove the familiar route to her oldest friend's home in a trancelike state of grief and shock.

Sarah had helped her to pick out the car just five days before she died.

Kelly's mother Deborah drove to rescue her daughter and said: "She was just sitting in the car, with her eyes wide open, not even blinking. I was so worried."

She said of Sarah: "She was like a daughter in a way, she felt like a part of our family. It was her nature, she was just such a lovely girl. I can't believe how strong her mother has been.

"When Sarah was at school, she didn't ever need to write anything down. She was so clever, she could just remember it all.

"It's been a huge blow to us all. Everybody just really really liked her. In church, I thought if she only knew how much everyone loved her."

Earlier this week, an inquest was told she suffocated after putting a plastic bag over her head and inserted a tube connected to a helium gas canister.

Lancashire Coroner Howard McCann was so shocked by the tragedy he has vowed to write to online giant Amazon and lodge his concerns.

e-mail: lep.newsdesk@lep.co.uk