Teen found dead by brother in bedroom after he didn’t answer call for dinner


Dixon Strachan, aged 15, from Calder Vale, was found dead in his bedroom by his brother and later Instagram messages were found that “clearly showed suicidal thoughts”

A 15-year-old boy was found dead in his bedroom by his brother
Dixon Strachan

A 15-year-old boy was found dead in his bedroom by his brother after he didn’t come downstairs for dinner, an inquest heard.

Dixon Strachan, from Calder Vale, was found dead on February 10, 2019, after his mum Gemma Wall had called up to him to say his dinner was ready, LancsLive reports.

A first inquest in June 2019 failed to reach a conclusive verdict of suicide after hearing the police had found no mobile phone evidence Dixon, who was found hanged, was considering taking his own life.

But two months later Dixon’s brother found messages on Instagram which “clearly demonstrated” he had suicidal thoughts.

It led to a new hearing at Preston Coroner’s Court where the Instagram evidence was heard by Coroner Richard Taylor.

Dixon was found dead at home in February 2019


Dixon Strachan/ Cavendish Press)

He told Dixon’s mum Ms Wall: “You told me that Dixon had been called down for his evening meal and he hadn’t come. One of his brothers went upstairs and found him. You told me he had migraines and on the Wednesday he came home from school not being well.

“You told me he enjoyed school and he would get up early most mornings. You told me that he had never given any indication of any depressive feelings. You thought it wasn’t suicide and possibly was an accident and I agreed with you and gave a narrative conclusion.”

He added: “We didn’t know what his intentions were at that time. It was then your son Zak, on August 9 in 2019, found some messages on Instagram.”

Miss Wall told the coroner she had not looked at the messages herself but her son said they spanned from November 2018 to three days before his death; the last on February 7, and clearly demonstrated he was suicidal.

Miss Wall told the coroner that Dixon had not appeared depressed and seemed happy at school



The inquest heard the medical cause of Dixon’s death was multiple organ failure, hypoxic brain injury and suspension by ligature.

On the day, the Year 11 pupil was found he had been playing with his brother Archie, “throwing cushions at each other” at their home, and his mum said there was “nothing unusual at all” about Dixon’s demeanour.

Mr Taylor said: “You said ‘I never thought he would do anything like this, he never ever mentioned anything about suicide or being depressed, I was with him almost every day of his life and would have expected to have seen something’.”

Returning a conclusion of suicide the coroner said: “After hearing the evidence at the first inquest I didn’t think we could have come to a different conclusion but the evidence we have now, obtained nearly two months after the inquest, clearly demonstrates suicidal thoughts in the messages on Instagram.”

After the inquest Miss Wall told LancsLive she had been frustrated at the police’s inability to find the Instagram messages and urged other young people struggling with mental health issues to contact Papyrus, a charity for the prevention of young suicide (under 35) in the UK by calling 0800 068 4141.

In a Facebook post at the time of Dixon’s death Miss Wall, a former teaching assistant, said: ”Everything has changed, yet nothing has changed. We go on as before but with a sadness, a heaviness that won’t go away. We laugh still and we cry too. The house is quieter, someone important is missing and we will never get him back. The pain of losing your child is truly horrific.”

If you’re struggling and need to talk, the Samaritans operate a free helpline open 24/7 on 116 123. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] or visit their site to find your local branch.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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