A teenager from Birmingham committed suicide after an edited photo of her wearing a scarf and darkened skin was leaked online by her friends.


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Phoebe Connop, 16, from  Halesowen in the West Midlands, had started a relationship with an Asian male she had met online and edited the picture to impress him.

She jokingly sent the picture to her friends on a private Instagram chat suggesting to them that the only way she would be accepted by her boyfriends family was if she looked more like the edited picture, although her boyfriend had not suggested this to be the case.

Black Country Coroner’s Court heard the image was spread around by her friends leading the teenager to fear a backlash from her friends and the Asian community although there was nothing to suggest this would happen.

The inquest heard that Phoebe asked her father to take her home from work after not feeling and later that day when returning from work himself he found his daughter hanging.

Detective Sergeant Katherine Tomkins, from West Midlands Police, said: ‘From speaking to her friends in the weeks following her death, we discovered that the image had circulated further than she wanted it to.

‘There had been some negative reaction and she confided in her friend, who did take the image down at her request, that she was scared of what the reaction might be from the Asian community in her area.’

Her  father Laurence Connop told the inquest said: ‘She was a lovely girl who would never want to cause offence to anyone.

‘She had shown me no indication in the weeks leading up to her death that there was anything wrong, let alone anything that would lead her to do this.’

Black Country Coroner Zafar Siddique gave his condolences to Phoebe’s family and recorded a conclusion of suicide,

He said: ‘This is an absolute tragedy for the family and I can’t imagine the pain and distress they are going through, as well as her friends.

‘There is nothing I can say to help with the pain but I offer my sincere condolences.’