Teenager stabbed herself

Peronality disorder sufferer Charlotte Sheppard died from a self inflicted stab wound to the heart

A 'bright and intelligent' teenager who suffered from a serious personality disorder died after she stabbed herself, an inquest has heard.

Charlotte Sheppard, 19, stabbed herself in the chest twice at her home in Poplar Close, Sandy, after spending the evening with her fiance Kevin Raggett on Sunday, February 22.

On Tuesday Bedford Coroner's Court heard that she suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder, which made her paranoid and impulsive, especially when she had been drinking alcohol.

Charlotte had spent the evening drinking with Mr Raggett at the Roundabout Club in Sandy and had consumed 'a significant amount of alcohol.'

Det Con Victoria Major, of the Beds and Herts Major Crime Unit, which investigated Charlotte's death, said: "She grabbed a bundle of knives and there was a tussle between the two as Kevin tried to get her to drop the knives as she had previously self-harmed.

"She said she wanted to die. Kevin told her not to be so silly and she pulled out a steak knife and stabbed herself."

Her mother Susan Sheppard told the court that her daughter self-harmed frequently and that her disorder had become worse after her father died in September last year.

The court also heard that Charlotte's medication for her illness was not meant to be taken with alcohol and could cause her to have suicidal thoughts, although her doctors did not consider her a suicide risk.

Mr Raggett told police he did not think Charlotte meant to kill herself, but was intending to self-harm and did not realise what she was doing because of the alcohol she had drunk.

The court heard a statement from Charlotte's mum Sue, which said: "I know Charlotte did not intend to take her life, she had been planning her future with Kevin that same day.

"She had phoned me earlier in the evening to tell me what a lovely day she was having, sadly her mood could change very quickly.

"What she did was a coping strategy that tragically resulted in her death."

Coroner David Morris said: "To record a verdict of suicide I have to be certain beyond all reasonable doubt that she took her own life and that she had the capacity to do so.

"Her capacity is not in doubt, but there is not the evidence of intention to take her own life other than the impulsive action she took.

"That said it is difficult to record an accidental verdict.

"I record that she died from a single impulsive action of self-harm while suffering from a Borderline Personality Disorder, which was exacerbated by previous consumption of alcohol and medication."

Following the inquest Mrs Sheppard told the Chronicle: "I am pleased with the outcome of the inquest because I know she would never have tried to take her own life.

"She has self harmed in the past, but I am adamant that was all she was trying to do.

"That's the problem with BPD, your moods can just totally switch and there's never any reason for it.

"It's been very hard for the whole family and especially Kevin, they were planning their lives together before this happened."