WEBSITE USED FOR HANGING

CONTROVERSY over Internet suicide sites was renewed today after it emerged a Doncaster nursery assistant died after downloading instructions for tying a hangman's noose.

An inquest heard depressed Lorraine Shepherd hanged herself at her Doncaster home in Cranwell Road, Cantley, after she had searched the Internet for instructions on how to tie the perfect noose.

A print-out was found in the kitchen of the family home in Cranwell Road, Cantley. The death of 52-year-old Lorraine Shepherd has re-opened the debate about the suicide advice websites which were used by local teenager Carina Stephenson, who also hanged herself in woods near her home almost a year ago.

Mrs Shepherd had bought the brand-new rope from a local DIY store a few hours before her body was found in the garage last Monday afternoon by a crisis care worker.

Carina's Stephenson mum, Liz Stephenson, from Branton, who is campaigning for the closure of the suicide chatrooms, today expressed her sympathy for the Shepherd family.

"It is absolutely appalling that these websites are still open and I am distraught that someone else should have to suffer a loss like we did.

"If somebody asked you face to face how to commit suicide you wouldn't tell them, but these websites can and do."

Mrs Shepherd, who had been suffering from depression for several months, waited until her husband, John, had left for the bank where he works before putting her plan into action.

After going out to buy the rope from B&Q on Monday morning she returned home, wrote notes to her husband, two sons, and parents, and then stuck a note on the front door telling the crisis worker who was due to visit in the afternoon: "I'm in the garage."

Crisis care worker Angela Gardner, who had been visiting her for two months, said Mrs Shepherd had also been having private treatment for depression and anxiety.

She followed the written instructions on how to get into the garage and found Mrs Shepherd hanging from the rafters with a set of stepladders nearby.

Mrs Gardner ran to a neighbour, Andrew Pick, and between them they cut her down and tried to revive but they believed she was already dead.

The care worker said Mrs Shepherd sometimes admitted to having "black thoughts", but had said she would never act on them because of her husband and sons.

Doncaster coroner Stanley Hooper granted Mr Shepherd a cremation order and adjourned the inquest to await a medical report.