A Tameside schoolboy of 16 hanged himself in his bedroom after having a minor argument with his mother about the laundry, an inquest heard.
Cameron Brookes shouted: ‘I hate you – I don’t want to live here” before storming off upstairs in a rage.
The teenager was found hanged from his cabin bed when his stepfather went to check on him.
Later the teenager’s phone and iPad were inspected by police and officers found he had sent his girlfriend one message an hour before he was discovered, which said: “I’m sorry.”
The hearing was told Cameron – who had just completed his GCSEs at All Saints Catholic College in Dukinfield, Greater Manchester – was prone to temper tantrums and had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in 2007.
His mother Wendy said: “He was very angry. If somebody told him to do something, he wasn’t good at taking instructions.
“He would lash out, he would harm himself – he’d bang his head against a wall in frustration or run away.
“Once he was listening to really sad music and was crying. He said: ‘I just don’t get it, I just don’t understand this world.’
“I said ‘you can’t think about that Cameron.’ he said: ‘I know, but I just don’t understand mum’ and asked, ‘Why can’t I be normal, mum, like my other friends.”
She said she sought help from doctors but told the Stockport hearing: “I feel like every phone call that I made saying, please can you help me, they said he was fine. But he was not fine, he needed help. He knew how much we loved him, his Asperger’s just took over that night.
”He wouldn’t have left his girlfriend – he absolutely loved his girlfriend. He wouldn’t have done that. He was at that point of no return. He was like two people.”
The tragedy occurred on August 18 2012 after Cameron had come home at 10pm after he had tea with his girlfriend Zoe Thompson, then also 16.
Mrs Brookes added: ”Cameron’s mood was absolutely fine, he smiled at me, I gave him a kiss. He was playing his guitar. I was in the kitchen with a friend, he seemed fine and pleasant. Then he went and sat in the garden.”
She followed him outside and asked if Zoe was coming camping but it seemed to ‘rile’ Cameron and he began telling his mother: ‘I hate you and Zoe’s mum, she can’t stand you.”
In a statement read to the inquest, Mr Brookes said: “I went to the garden to lock the sheds and I could hear Wendy having a discussion about washing. Wendy was talking about doing his washing and his girlfriend Zoe going on a camping trip.
“I could see he was more agitated so told him to stop being silly and he said he didn’t want to be here so I said he could move out. He said he wanted to do it in three weeks when he was 17. This type of conversation was normal.
“He went to his bedroom and I went to the garden and after five minutes I heard three loud bangs. I’m sure it was him hitting the bedroom door. The social worker gave us advice to ignore his behaviour and let him calm down.
“Ten minutes later I had a shower. When I went to check on him I opened the door but it only opened about one fifth so pushed it open using force and got in. I could see he was deceased.”
TRAGIC: Cameron Brookes was just 16 when he died
Zoe, now 18, told the inquest: ”When I was 13, Cameron and I became close friends and then girlfriend-boyfriend and I was in just about every class with him.
“We would meet up outside of school but it didn’t work out so split up in year 10. I’ve always been aware he had Asperger’s but when I was with him he was always fine and happy.
“My house was a place he could come to escape when he was having problems. This time when we split up he was depressed and upset. He took it badly and stopped talking to me.”
In May 2012 the pair became close again after attending their school prom together.
Zoe added: “In the summer holidays in 2012 he told me about arguments over washing and cleaning. On Sat August 18 he came round having had another fall-out, this time about his bike. He felt he was the only one in the family whose bike wasn’t allowed in the garage.
“He said ‘I don’t have a family who loves me’. He asked me to go camping with him and his family. He stayed for tea and checked with his mum if it was ok and we went to my room to go on the iPad.
“We went downstairs to get a drink before playing with a ball on the field. When we got back we sat out and got candles and had popcorn. The dog was barking and we were having a good time.
“I asked if he was ok but he said ‘as long as I am talking to you I am happy’. He went back at 9.30pm and I walked him half way home.”
Miss Thompson said she received the message from Cameron saying ‘I’m sorry’, at 10.41pm.
”I sent a message back asking what he was sorry for and didn’t get any reply but carried on messaging him and rang him but got no reply,” she said.
”I was sending random messages to get his attention to wake him up. I said ‘please answer I’m getting worried, I hope you are ok’. I must have fallen asleep and when I woke up my parents told me what he had done.”
Dr Ahmed Huda, a consultant psychiatrist at Tameside Hospital, who treated Cameron, said: “He needed somebody to make him feel good about himself, he didn’t feel worth anything and said he can’t do anything in the future and didn’t have hope.
”Because of his Asperger’s he said people saw him as a freak. When he split up from his girlfriend he seemed like he could be depressed until she came back to him. He said that although he felt he wanted to die the issue was more about expressing emotional distress. If you have emotional pain and change it to physical pain it’s more concrete.”
Aisling Bouketta, a family intervention worker who dealt with Cameron added: “I was aware of problems with his behaviour in the family home. There were arguments that would often begin that would often be perceived as small, minor incidents, that could have the tendency to explode.”
South Manchester assistant deputy coroner Joanne Kearsley recorded a verdict of misadventure.