Mum took her own life at spot where footballer son, 16, died just eight weeks earlier as she ‘couldn’t live without him’

A “DESTROYED” mum took her own life at the same spot where her teen son killed himself just eight weeks earlier, an inquest heard.

Camille Hardman, 45, told loved ones she “no longer felt able to survive without him” after 16-year-old Ethan died.

justgivingCamille Hardman took her own life eight weeks after her son died[/caption]

On December 8, she walked to the spot where the talented footballer took his own life in woodland in Preston, Lancashire.

Tragically she was found dead by the same police officer who had discovered Ethan just eight weeks earlier.

Area Coroner Kate Bisset said: “This was an absolute tragedy, utterly heart-breaking.

“Camille was an intelligent, articulate and loving lady and Ethan was the light of her life.

“When Ethan died she was destroyed by the loss, her heart was broken beyond repair.”

An inquest heard how Camille’s mental health had plummeted following the death of her beloved son.

He had killed himself on October 14 just weeks before his 16th birthday after splitting with his girlfriend.

The court was told he was also struggling to deal with his grandmother’s death and the pressure of starting his first job.

Camille’s partner Richard Benson wept as he told the inquest how the “extremely fragile” mum had expressed an intention to take her own life.

The HR administrator had been detained under the Mental Health Act following Ethan’s death after her family raised concerns about her repeatedly expressing suicidal thoughts.

But she was discharged in order to attend his funeral on November 9 and spent three days in a hotel where she tried to kill herself.

In the short weeks leading to her own death, Camille had started to experience visions of her son’s body being found.

She also had periods of heavy drinking and had started attending meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous.

On December 8, her sister called round at her home in Walton-le-Dale to find the doors wide open and a note from Camille.

The mum had left via a side gate to avoid being seen on her neighbour’s doorbell camera.

Tony Gardner told the court how he was walking his dog when he spotted Camille on the footpath in a wooded area.

He said: “I felt it was a bit suspicious and then she said ‘just over there my son killed himself six weeks ago’.

“I realised who she was. Ethan was a similar age to my son who knew him.”

You’re Not Alone

EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn’t discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It’s the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it’s rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You’re Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let’s all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You’re Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

CALM,, 0800 585 858
Heads Together,
Mind,, 0300 123 3393
Papyrus,, 0800 068 41 41
Samaritans,, 116 123
Anxiety UK, 03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm

The witness helped Camille up and was told by the mum she would be “OK” so he headed home.

Tony said he later saw a Facebook post where she “seemed upbeat” so he messaged her asking to go for a walk if she wanted to talk.

He added: “Then I saw a post later that she had gone back to those woods and took her own life.

“I realised I was probably one of the last people to see her alive.”

Reaching a conclusion of suicide, the coroner said Ethan’s death had caused Camille to suffer “catastrophic” mental health problems.

She added: “The loss of a child is unthinkable, but it was unsurvivable for Camille.”

Ms Bisset said it appeared that Camille had been deliberately calculating in what she told mental health staff so she had the space and opportunity to do what she intended.

She continued: “The services did everything they could to support her mental health.

“I am equally satisfied Richard and her family could not have done any more to protect her.

“There is nothing that could have been done differently by that family. And the man in the woods is not responsible in any way.”

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans for free on 116123.

Camille was unable to live without Ethan, an inquest heardFacebookjustgivingShe was found dead on December 8[/caption]