A fun-loving young woman who harboured ambitions to become an air hostess killed herself after she fought a secret battle against household debt.
Jennifer Steadman, 20, was said to be the ”life of the party” but at home she had fallen behind with her rent and bills and owned money on loans.
On Boxing Day last year Miss Steadman was found hanged at her flat in Whitefield, Greater Manchester, by police after she was reported missing by her boyfriend.
It emerged a month before her death she had told her mother she ”had had enough’’.
The Heywood hearing was told Miss Steadman had emotional problems during her childhood after her father was killed in a motorbike crash when she was just four and she was bullied at school.
But she later studied travel and tourism at Bury College and had dreamed of a career working an as air hostess so she could travel the world and appeared to be happy.
Her sister Jessica Steadman said: “Jennifer was a happy-go-lucky girl and she had a lot of mates. We did have arguments but they were normal.
“She did have debts over rent and bills and had loans that she needed to pay back. She had a flat but couldn’t afford to pay the gas and electricity.
“She came to live with me for a bit but we fell out in September because I was trying to push her to get a job and I think I just blew. She then went to go and stay with friends who lived round the corner from me.
”The last time I contacted her was through Facebook in mid-December. The last time I actually saw her was the beginning of December. She seemed content at that time. She told me she had got a job and things were looking up.
“I do think she planned what she was going to do. I feel that with the run up and the whole situation where she stopped talking to me and her friends. She had lied about the job.
“I think she lied to her friends and her boyfriend about her whereabouts so nobody could stop her like the last time. When I spoke about people that were dead in our family she said she wanted to be with them.
“When we looked round the flat after the police we found her hand bag with notes in for individual people in a small box in her bag. There was a laptop and two other phones in her bag.
"Jennifer was the life of the party. She liked to sing and she wanted to go on the X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent. She made me happy and always put other people first.”
Miss Steadman’s mother Jeanette said: ”She and I would speak over Facebook or texts and she seemed happy but was up and down.
“There was a previous occasion in July 2016 when she became upset about a boyfriend and took too many tablets, but I never got the full story. There had been problems between the sisters which extended back to September 2016 when they had a fall out.
“The last time I saw Jennifer was at the end of November. I believed that Jennifer was depressed and took her own life. Since her death I have learned that she was having problems with debts and I believe it all came too much for her.
“She had told me she had had enough. I told her on many occasions to go for help but she didn’t.”
In a statement, Jennifer’s boyfriend Matthew Owens said: “We had been in a relationship for four months. She was very private and didn’t like to bother others with her problems. I wasn’t aware she had any problems and I thought she was happy.
“She had been staying at my house and she was excited for Christmas Day. On the 23rd she left to go and see her friend and was planning to stay at her house. Throughout that day we were speaking through Facebook messenger and she seemed fine.
“We had made plans for her to come to my house on Christmas Day. At 9.30pm she said she was tired and going to sleep. I messaged her on the 25th to see if she was okay but I didn’t get a reply. I tried calling her but her phone was switched off. By the 26th I still hadn’t had a response and so I contacted the police to report her missing.”
Recording a conclusion of suicide, Coroner Lisa Hashmi said: “Jennifer was quite clearly a troubled young woman, however, more recently she had been making plans for the future.
“Equally, she could be a little secretive and I have heard she told one person one thing and another person something else.
“Against the background of the notes found, that supports an intention to self-harm. I am satisfied that Jennifer intended to take her own life from the personal and financial difficulties in her life.
“The protective factors in her life were not strong enough to prevent her from doing what she did – although she was quite clearly a fun, loving individual.”
If you need to speak to someone, Samaritans are available 24/7 by calling 116 123 or by emailing [email protected] .
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