A tragic St Helens teenager committed suicide after making his intentions clear on Facebook, a coroner ruled yesterday.
Macaulay Freeman, 17, was found by his father David Brownbill hanged at his home on Cotswold Grove, Parr, at about midnight on the night of January 19.
The 17-year-old was pronounced dead by paramedics at 12.15am on January 20.
A coroner’s court sitting at St Helens Town Hall heard how Macaulay, who was also known by the surname Brownbill, had expressed concerns in the weeks before his death about his involvement in an incident in Haydock on New Year’s Eve.
Macauley, an apprentice rail worker, claimed he had been attacked by a number of youths before lashing out at one with a knife - leaving his victim with a slash mark to the face.
He later confided in a family member that he had considered taking his own life because he was scared of being given a custodial sentence by the courts.
On the evening of January 19, Macauley was at home with a female friend when his father went out. He didn’t give any indication of his train of thought.
Shortly before midnight Mr Brownbill returned to find Macauley.
Police attended and were quickly able to determine that there had been no third party involvement.
They subsequently examined his laptop computer, which Macauley had been using that evening, and found a conversation on a social networking website which spelt out his intentions.
Social media was subsequently flooded with messages about the tragedy, which shocked youngsters in the Haydock and Parr communities - where the former Blackbrook Royals rugby player was known.
Many used Facebook to post tributes and tell of their shock and sadness.
One wrote: “Heaven has gained another angel and the sky another star. RIP Mac. Everyone’s missing you x.”
Another wrote: “I can’t believe your gone. Haydock feels so empty without you. Nothing feels the same.”
At post mortem, pathologist Dr David Barker found the medical cause of death as suspension by ligature.
A toxicology report confirmed that there was no alcohol or drugs in Macauley’s system at the time of his death.
Coroner Christopher Sumner said: “I’ve no doubt having read the evidence from his conversation on a social media chatroom of his intention to take his own life.”