Sunderland girl, 14, found hanged at Spennymoor house party

The Northern Echo: Tragic loss: Sarah Clerkson Tragic loss: Sarah Clerkson

A 14-year-old girl has died after she was found hanged at a house party.

Tenant John Moore told last night how he tried to save the teenager - named locally as Sarah Clerkson - after she was discovered in the bedroom of the house in Spennymoor, County Durham.

He said: "I began to give CPR under instruction over the phone from the ambulance service.

"Then a police officer arrived and he took over the CPR until the paramedics got there.

"It was such a shock and an unexpected tragedy."

Miss Clerkson, originally from Sunderland, had gone to the party in Ash Grove on Saturday at about 8.30pm but was put to bed in a back bedroom after being sick.

"Everyone was concerned about her, said Mr Moore, 16. "At about 12.15am on Sunday we went to see how she was. We got no reply and we had to kick the door down."

She was taken to the University Hospital of North Durham in the early hours of Sunday (December 8) but later died.

Detective inspector Wendy Tinkler, of Darlington Police, said: "Attempts were made to resuscitate a 14-year-old girl at a house in Spennymoor.

"A post mortem is taking place to establish a cause of death but there are no suspicious circumstances."

Mr Moore said: "I was having a party of about seven people to celebrate one of my friends getting a job.

"Then someone said they knew two girls in the area, one of whom was Miss Clerkson. They were invited."

"There was alcohol, but no drugs, and everyone was relaxed."

He said everyone seemed to be getting on with her but she confided that she had relationship problems and was "upset about past experiences".

Mr Moore, a student at New College Durham, said Miss Clerkson was a pupil at Whitworth Park School and Sixth Form College, Spennymoor.

He is currently staying with family in Coundon, near Bishop Auckland, and plans to move out of the Ash Grove house.

Floral tributes have been left outside and friends have posted tributes to the teenager on Twitter.

One said "Can't believe Sarah's gone. Going to miss her so much, the laughs we had! Such a shame. RIP Sarah Clerkson.'


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