Jury offers open verdict on teenager who died following ‘relationship with star’

Ben Cowburn

Ben Cowburn had mentioned he felt disgusted by what he had accomplished with the celebrity, referred to as Mr X at the inquest. Photograph: Apex

A jury has returned an open verdict on a teenager who died in a mental wellness clinic right after claiming he had been deeply upset by a sexual romantic relationship with an unnamed male celebrity.

The jury also explained it believed that “shortcomings” in the care of Ben Cowburn, 18, might have contributed to his death.

The coroner had earlier warned the jury that it ought to not try out to apportion blame over the death of the teenager.

Shortly just before his death Cowburn claimed he had created much more than 40 attempts to consider his daily life soon after getting “pressured” into performing “sexual issues” with the tv celebrity, the inquest heard.

Cowburn alleged the man had purchased him presents and taken him to nice places but he felt “disgusted” by what they had allegedly completed together.

The Cornwall coroner Emma Carlyon ordered that the celebrity at the centre of the allegations be referred to as Mr X throughout the inquest at Truro.

Summing up the proof before sending the jury out to attain its conclusions, Carlyon emphasised that no person was on trial. She also asked the panel not to undertake their personal research or search at any social network discussions about the situation.

She reminded the jury that a postmortem examination had located that Cowburn died of asphyxia in the en-suite bathroom of his space at Longreach House psychological overall health unit close to Redruth in Cornwall in December 2010. There was no suggestion that any person else was concerned.

Carlyon summarised the proof of a psychological wellness nurse who said Cowburn had told him he had had a partnership with a male celebrity who was older than him. The celebrity had allegedly given him presents, alcohol and medicines.

Cowburn explained he had not been raped or abused and what they had allegedly completed collectively was consensual. But Cowburn advised the nurse he had felt “dirty and ashamed”. Right after Cowburn’s death, police investigated the romantic relationship with the celebrity. They concluded he had not been abused or assaulted. The romantic relationship ended in the summertime of 2010.

The jury was reminded that medical professionals concluded Cowburn had been suffering from a depressive illness and may have had publish-traumatic pressure disorder.

Carlyon also flagged up considerations about how Cowburn was cared for. One particular skilled in mental wellness mentioned there had been failings in how the teenager was handled right after previous situations of self-harm and overdoses.

The inquest has been advised that Cowburn, a fashion college graduate, met the celebrity in a pub and began doing work as his stylist.

On Tuesday the police officer who led the investigation into Cowburn’s death in Cornwall, DC Joanna Sodergren, told the jury: “He mentioned the guy had brought him great items and took him to great spots but had done sexual issues to him. Asked if he had been raped or sexually assaulted he explained he had not, but agreed to them as he felt pressured to do the issues. He said if he killed himself it would make it far better as it would make it go away.”

Devon and Cornwall police informed Scotland Yard about his allegations. The star has not been arrested in excess of Cowburn’s allegations and has not been known as to give proof to the inquest.

Some media organisations have asked the coroner to reveal who Mr X is. The Tory MP Priti Patel explained “standard” details ought to be permitted into the public domain.

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