September 09, 2019
A CBBC child star "stressed" by her GCSEs hanged herself in a "spur of the moment silliness" after she watched a film which featured a suicide scene, an inquest heard today.
CBBC star stressed by GCSEs hanged herself after watching film with suicide scene, inquest told
Mya-Lecia Naylor, 16, who starred in Almost Never and Millie Inbetween, was found dead by her mother Zena at the family home in South Norwood, south London, on April 7 this year.
Her father, Martin Naylor, told Croydon Coroner's Court his daughter may have died while "possibly trying to make a point", which came after she was grounded for leaving the house without permission.
The inquest heard the family watched a film in which a cartoon character took their own life the night before the teenager's death.
But coroner Toby Watkin ruled her death was misadventure after finding the child star did not intentionally kill herself.
The inquest was told that she was struggling at school and was stressed about her GCSEs but she was looking forward to shooting another series of Almost Never. Toxicologist Rebecca Andrews confirmed there were no drugs or alcohol found in her body after she died and police confirmed there was no talk of self harm or suicide on her social media.
Her GP also confirmed Mya-Lecia had no significant illness and was considered in very good health.
Mr Naylor told Croydon Coroners Court: "Mya was due to go back to shoot the second series of Almost Never. She was excited.
"She did like school. She seemed to be quite happy. She left the house without permission the week before so we grounded her.
"The school had also called regarding her grades. She was very clever but she could be doing better.
"She said a month before she was stressed about her exams. We had gone out for a Daddy-Daughter day the day afterwards and she seemed better for it.
"The night before, all five of us were in bed watching movies. She was supposed to be going to a party that night but understood as she was grounded she had to do revision."
Mr Watkin asked him: "I believe in the statement there is a fear the movie you watched may have had something relevant?" Mr Naylor replied: "They were watching a cartoon. I'm not sure what it was as my wife wrote the statement."
The assistant coroner added: "I understood it contained a scene in which someone takes their own life?"
He replied: "I'd not seen it as I fell asleep half an hour in. I can't confirm that. But I know after that scene, she said well that's enough now and shut it off and said it was time to go to sleep."
Mr Naylor said he last saw his daughter at 7.30am on April 7 when he woke to go for a run, adding he could tell she was unhappy.
Just two hours later, the teen's mother discovered her. Mr Naylor added: "I do not believe she would see something and then want to reenact it. She never talked about harming herself.
"She was possibly trying to make a point. I honestly believe, maybe because she was grounded, but I believe she didn't mean it. "I believe it was a spur of the moment silliness."
Mya-Lecia was pronounced dead at 11.30am at Croydon University Hospital that day. Police were called and ruled the death was not suspicious.
Mr Watkin told the court he had concluded the hanging as a "form of accidental death" He said: "I find she did not intend to her own life. "By all probabilities, I find she died by misadventure.
"Thank you to Mr Naylor for attending and giving evidence. I hope it is some reassurance that your attendance was invaluable to have reached this conclusion."
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