‘Gifted’ schoolboy, 18, killed himself by crashing into a lorry at 60mph after missing out on place at top uni

A “GIFTED” schoolboy killed himself by crashing into a lorry after missing out on a place at a top university, an inquest heard.

Jasper de Pelet, 18, had attended one of the country’s top schools, but took his own life after missing out on a place at Bristol University.

Jasper de Pelet was a 'gifted' teen who achieved 'excellent results'

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Jasper de Pelet was a ‘gifted’ teen who achieved ‘excellent results’Credit: Solent News
An inquest into Jasper's death took place at Salisbury Coroners court

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An inquest into Jasper’s death took place at Salisbury Coroners courtCredit: Solent News

The inquest heard how the teen from Somerset took off his seatbelt and veered into an oncoming lorry at more than 60mph after visiting his girlfriend’s house.

Seconds before the crash, Jasper, who was on a gap year at the time, sent his mum a heartbreaking text saying “I’m sorry”.

The teen was driving his VW Golf when it collided with the lorry, travelling in the opposite direction.

An inquest at Salisbury Coroners Court, Wilts, heard the brakes were not applied at any time as he drove across the hatched central reservation.

Jasper’s dad Louis, a counsellor, and mum Rebecca, who is head of English at Sherborne School, wiped away tears as they heard details at the inquest.

‘EXCELLENT RESULTS’

In a statement read to the court, Mrs de Pelet said: “Jasper had a creative flair, he loved writing, performing…

“He went to prep school in Sherborne and excelled in English and Latin. He was a gifted and creative writer.

“He was an active member of the local church and he had periods of anxiety around exam time but achieved excellent results.

“He missed out on a place at Bristol University and became despondent and unhappy… Eventually he got a place to do history at Cardiff.”

The teen had suffered with depression and anxiety, which got particularly bad around exam periods, according to his GP Joanna Briffa.

She told the court he had “high standards and expectations of himself”.

Jasper had been seeing a counsellor in the months before his death and had been prescribed fluoxetine shortly before he killed himself.

He had also recently met his new girlfriend, who told the court he had left her home in good spirits on the day he died.

‘EXCEPTIONALLY KIND’

Before his A-Levels, which he did at a different school, Jasper attended Sherborne School in Dorset – one of only five such single-sex boys’ boarding independent senior schools in the country  – the others being Eton, Harrow, Radley and Winchester.

The school’s alumni include actor Hugh Bonneville, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and code cracker Alan Turing.

A spokeswoman for the school said: “Jasper was a uniquely talented individual.

“He was possessed of tremendous academic ability and had a wide range of passions and interests. Above all, he was an exceptionally kind and gentle young man.”

YOU’RE NOT ALONE

EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn’t discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It’s the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it’s rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You’re Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let’s all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You’re Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

After his death, Jasper’s mum found journals belonging to her son which detailed his battle with depression.

HM Senior Coroner for Swindon and Wiltshire, David Ridley concluded: “I have seen the journals, read a few extracts and I noted the evidence from his mum that he had experienced a down turn in his mental health.

“I have also seen the text message saying sorry.

“Pulling all that together as a result of the sudden dramatic down turn in his mental health at the relevant time – Jasper did intend to drive into the path of that vehicle.”

He recorded a conclusion of suicide.

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans (free) on 116123 or 020 7734 2800.

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