'Brilliant' student, 21, took her own life days after catching Covid

‘Brilliant’ student, 21, took her own life days after catching Covid when she went out with friends

  • Sinead Bowles, 21, was found hanged in her family home in Hanley, Staffordshire
  • The ‘brilliant’ student had caught Covid just days before after meeting friends
  • Sinead had been working at Alton Towers but was furloughed during pandemic 
  • Her heartbroken parents said she ‘put her head down’ and studied as a result 
  • For confidential support call Samaritans on 116123 or visit a Samaritans branch 

The parents of a ‘brilliant’ student who took her own life days after catching Covid have paid tribute to her ‘kind, genuine, bright and bubbly’ personality.

Sinead Bowles, 21, was found hanged in her family home in Hanley, Staffordshire after telling friends she wished she could ‘go to sleep and not wake up’.

Her heartbroken parents, Andy and Anita Bowles say their daughter had shown no signs of feeling depressed or having mental health issues. 

Sinead, who had been a team leader at theme park Alton Towers, ‘put her head down’ and studied while she was on furlough with work. 

But days before her death, she had met up with friends and contracted coronavirus – forcing her into self-isolation.

Forty-eight-year-old Andy, who lives in Biddulph, Staffs, said: ‘I think her feelings came on quickly. She just felt she’d got Covid and was locked up.

‘Like a lot of parents who are in this position, the common denominator is you never expect your child to take that course of action.’

Sinead Bowles, 21, (above) was found hanged in her family home in Hanley, Staffordshire after telling friends she wished she could ‘go to sleep and not wake up’

Sinead had just completed the second year of her degree course at Staffordshire University and hoped to eventually go on to Cambridge to do a master’s degree.

From the tender age of five, family said she had dreamed of becoming a lawyer.   

But after studying criminal justice and offender management, she realised her real passion lay with helping transform the lives of former prisoners. 

The 21-year-old was never able to realise her lofty ambitions as she was found hanged at her family home in Hanley, on July 14.

Concluding the death was the result of suicide, North Staffordshire senior coroner Andrew Barkley said Covid may have been a factor in what happened, although it was unclear.  

An inquest on Monday heard that her best friend Keisha Nichols, who lived next door, had raised the alarm after realising she hadn’t let her dog out.

Earlier that day, Sinead had also sent a worrying text, saying ‘I genuinely wish I could go to sleep and not wake up’.

But by the time she was found, it was too late for paramedics to save her. Sinead, who had left several ‘goodbye’ notes on her bed, had hanged herself.

Sinead had just completed the second year of her degree course at Staffordshire University and hoped to eventually go on to Cambridge to do a master’s degree

Her devastated parents Andy and Anita Bowles revealed their daughter had never previously shown them signs of struggling with her mental health.

The loss of her grandparents when she was aged 13 had ‘hit her hard’, but Anita, 51, said her daughter had started to ‘focus on life again’ in the months leading up to her death. 

‘As part of her university course, she went to visit prisons around the UK, which she loved. She was a natural talking to people,’ Anita added.

During the pandemic, Sinead and Keisha had set up a podcast from a storage room, which they used to talk about positive ways to improve mental health.

Anita, 51, who lived with Sinead at the three-storey house in Hanley, said: ‘She had a passion for Men Unite and helping others.’

Her parents said the young woman had been a ‘shining light in our lives and was loved dearly by her family and many friends’.   

Now the family have channelled their grief into raising more than £1,800 for the charity Young Minds in her memory. 

Andy scaled Mount Snowdon on Friday and is planning to take on the Three Peaks Challenge next year. 

For confidential support call Samaritans on 116123 or visit a Samaritans branch 

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