Paramedic Charlotte Cope kills herself after being shamed in Facebook post
A ‘well-loved’ paramedic who had ‘everything to live for’ took her own life during lockdown after being ‘pushed over the edge’ by a Facebook post shaming her for littering, an inquest has heard.
Charlotte Cope, 23, was found dead by her mother in a bedroom at the family home in Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales, on April 13 last year.
The day before her death, photos of Ms Cope in her Welsh Ambulance Service uniform were uploaded to social media by a member of the public claiming she had seen her littering outside her home.
Ms Cope had been on her way to work a night shift when she was stopped and pictured standing outside her car next to a pile of food waste and packaged food items.
She was then told about the post targeting her by a line manager at Gelli Ambulance Station, before admitting to the wrongdoing and saying she would pay any fine that was issued.
However, by the time she woke up the following day, the post had been shared hundreds of times, according to her family.
On April 13, the day of her death, Ms Cope had spent time downstairs with her parents before returning to her bedroom at around 1.30pm to sleep after her night shift the previous night, with everything said to have appeared ‘normal’.
However, she was found dead by her mother at around 8.30pm.
Paramedics who the 999 call were colleagues and friends of Ms Cope and, in statements read at the inquest, told of how ‘shocked’ they were and described her as ‘popular and well-loved’.
A message found on Miss Cope’s body directed family members to look at the notes she had written on her phone.
The notes said she wanted the ‘horrendous’ and ‘disturbing’ thoughts in her head to stop, repeatedly said she was sorry, and thanked her colleagues for all the memories they shared.
Assistant coroner Rachel Knight told the court: ‘Charlotte had a complex history including a longstanding eating disorder, depression and anxiety, and was further upset by a post on social media that likely caused her to be embarrassed.’
Recording the cause of death as suicide, Ms Knight said to the family: ‘I want to say how truly sorry I am for the loss of Charlotte. It is obvious to me how much you loved her, and how much she is missed.’
Speaking after the inquest, Ms Cope’s mother said she believed the Facebook post had contributed to her daughter’s death.