Teenager: ‘I can’t live like this, Dad ...’

In the final phone call to his dad, tragic teenager Liam Batters told his father that he loved him – hours before taking his own life.

Thursday, 20th November 2014, 9:48 am
Liam Batters funeral at St john the Baptist Church,Cayton. An inquest has heard that the teenager tragically took his own life. Pic Richard Ponter 142816c

An inquest heard that the “happy-go-lucky” 17-year-old had enjoyed a normal night on June 26, playing football with mates before looking at T-shirts online.

He even texted his dad Ian about Belgium’s chances in the World Cup – but then also sent a heartbreaking message to his father, saying “I can’t live like this any more, Dad”.

It was among the final communications between father and son, with the former Scarborough Sixth Form pupil’s body later found at his Cayton home.

But Tuesday’s inquest at Scarborough Rugby Club heard testimony from Detective Nigel Pepper, who claimed his death came out of the blue – and was a “totally impulsive act”.

It was an assessment that the teenager’s father agreed with, despite the inquest hearing that months earlier, Liam had sent a message warning he might jump off Valley Bridge.

“I just feel like killing myself,” he also warned – but tragically, his father felt that these warnings were nothing more than Liam merely acting his age.

“I just didn’t read too much into it,” said Ian Batters.

“Sometimes he was a bit erratic, he could go from being really quiet to bubbly or lively.

“But I just put that down to mood swings in a teenager.

“There was nowt to think he would go and do this.”

Bradford-born Liam had left education in April, and his father said that he was exploring possible apprenticeships at Pindar and McCain.

The hearing heard how the “very popular” former St Augustine’s School student even arranged to meet his mates after the school prom the next night.

And his father recalled the last time he ever saw his son, making Liam a sandwich before sitting in the garden and enjoying some “banter”, before leaving for his nightshift.

After going through his laptop and mobile for clues at to why Liam took his own life, Detective Pepper said there were no clear warning signs in Liam’s communications that could have helped prevent the tragic events in June.

And in his summary, coroner Michael Oakley ruled that apart from the message about jumping from Valley Bridge six months earlier, there had been “no lead-up” to what he ruled was a “deliberate act”.

Only a day after his death, the “cheeky” teenager’s closest friends met on North Bay beach to fill the night sky with lanterns in his memory.

And his parents said: “He was a great son of whom we were, and will always remain, very proud.”