Mystery over death of talented teenage chef from Milton Keynes

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A talented teenage chef who had been “feeling low” was found hanging in his bedroom by his mum, an inquest heard.

Elliot Stapleton-Giddins, 18, was in a happy relationship with his girlfriend and had a good job with Masterchef finalist Dan Cameron.

Coroner Elizabeth Gray recorded an open verdict in his death because there was not enough evidence for a suicide conclusion.

“It doesn’t seem to me that there was anything of any significance from what you’ve told me,” she told his family.

“We have a series of small incidents over time and a family reporting that generally Elliot was on an even keel. He was a sensitive person but nothing to suggest that this was intended,” she added.

Cadet force member Elliot, who lived in Russell Street, Stony Stratford, was looking forward to going travelling and had saved £2,500, the inquest heard.

Although he had no diagnosed issues with mental health, he had complained of feeling low at times in the months leading up to his death.

He had told his GP, Dr Shivantha Shunmugarutnam, of plans to join the Army during his last visit to his doctor, 15 months before his death.

“The last conversation I had with him I remember him talking about feeling low,” said the GP.

“He told me about being in the combined cadet force and he talked about joining the Army.”

The inquest heard Elliot had problems with bullying at his school, St Paul’s Catholic School and became disillusioned with education while he was in the sixth form.

Coroner Gray, added: “In order for me to find that Elliot took his own life I would have to find he intended to do so beyond all reasonable doubt. But from what I have heard I don’t have that evidence. I draw an open conclusion.”

A crowdfunding account raised £2,835 to pay for a memorial bench in Elliot’s favourite place near the river in Stony Stratford.

“He was an amazing young man who was loved by so many people and we are all so proud of him,” said Freya Stapleton-Giddons.

“In Elliot’s short life he achieved so many things including the three peaks challenge (which he completed in under 24 hours) and a skydive,” she added. Surplus funds were given to a young people’s charity.