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Coroner delivers verdict on 15-year-old boy found hanged at home

James Hockaday

A 15-year-old boy who hanged himself in his room talked to friends about death and Satanism in the weeks beforehand, an inquest heard on Wednesday.

But Berkshire coroner Peter Bedford said there was no evidence that Haris Chohan, of Emerald Court, Chalvey, intended to end his own life.

The inquest at Reading Town Hall heard that the night before Mr Chohan’s death on Sunday, March 26, he spoke to two friends on a Facebook video chat.

He showed his friends a rope, which he tied around his neck, and made comments during the chat about suicide.

“Haris was not the sort of person to show emotion, I thought he was just pratting around,” said friend Ethan Turner in a witness statement.

The inquest heard both friends warned Mr Chohan to not ‘do anything stupid’, before going to bed.

Mr Bedford told the inquest that the previous week, Mr Chohan told friend Shakira Carter: “I’m going to die before I’m 16. Make sure you come to my funeral.”

In his statement, Mr Turner said that, on Wednesday, March 22, Mr Chohan said: “I’m a Satanist, I’m not going to die.

“I believe he felt that he couldn’t die,” added Mr Turner.

At about midnight on Saturday, March 25, Mr Chohan’s brother found him on his knees in his room with a rope around his neck.

He and his father rushed to help, using a knife to cut the rope, before calling emergency services just after midnight.

Mr Chohan was taken to Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, where he was declared dead.

A post mortem report said he had died from ‘asphyxiation due to hanging’.

Detective Constable Greg Williams told the inquest that from Wednesday, March 15, Mr Chohan had made web searches including ‘how to join Satan as soon as possible’.

He also searched ‘how to sell your soul to the devil’ several times and searched about suicide on Saturday, March 18 and Thursday, March 23.

Mr Bedford explained to Mr Chohan’s family members that as a coroner, his verdicts must be beyond all reasonable doubt.

He suggested that hanging a noose around his neck on webcam may have been ‘bravado’.

He could not rule out the possibility that Mr Chohan’s death was an ‘experiment that went wrong’.

Mr Bedford did not deliver a verdict of suicide, calling the incident ‘a deliberate act in the sense of the rope, without any evidence of intention to end his life’.

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