An aspiring doctor took his own life after a WhatsApp message about a romance with a classmate was shared in a prank.
Edward Senior was excluded from lectures at Swansea University after his private message about the “brief relationship” was shared with hundreds of other students, an inquest heard.
The 22-year-old, who had a “glittering future”, had sent a private message to close friends, but it was shared on Facebook with hundreds of other university students as a joke.
An investigation was carried out and Edward was excluded from lectures as punishment.
The Coroner’s Court heard he was later found dead in woodland on the grounds of his home in Monmouthshire, Wales.
Senior coroner Wendy James recorded a verdict of suicide, saying Mr Senior’s death highlighted the risk of posting on social media sites.
“He made the post in a private forum and that post was shared by friends with the consequences that he was excluded from the majority of lectures,” she said.
“He felt his future as a doctor was in jeopardy.”
The inquest heard that Mr Senior attended Bristol University before he did a gap year in Ghana, Africa. He then started a postgraduate medical course at Swansea University.
His mother Diana told the inquest a complaint made by the medical department in relation to a social media posting resulted in him being excluded from the majority of lectures.
“This had a profound impact on him,” she said.
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On the day of his death, he had been “preoccupied” in his bedroom, the inquest heard.
The coroner said: “Despite having the support of a loving family, it was not enough for him to get through a stressful period in his life.”
“Not knowing what the ramifications would be, he felt isolated and became overwhelmed.
“It is not unusual for young people to make mistakes. But his biggest mistake was dwelling on that one mistake.”
Mr Senior’s family has now set up a foundation in his name to help other young people contemplating ending their lives.
Anybody battling a mental illness can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.