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Shop assistant killed herself after finding child sex abuse images on her boyfriend's phone, inquest hears

Yohannes Lowe
Lydia Roberts found the indecent pictures of children on her boyfriend's mobile phone whilst he was at work - Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd

A young shop assistant hanged herself after finding child sex abuse images on her boyfriend's phone, an inquest has heard.

Lydia Roberts, 21, was said to have felt “violated and hurt” after discovering the indecent content on a second device belonging to her partner Adam Wells, 27, when he left for work on June 10, 2017.

The couple subsequently began arguing about the pictures over text and Wells, a beauty product company director, decided to go out with his friends and colleagues later that evening.

When he returned to their shared home in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester at 3:30am the next morning, he saw Ms Roberts hanging from a cupboard.

He called for an ambulance but Ms Roberts was pronounced dead at the scene by the responding emergency services officers.

Wells appeared at Manchester magistrates court in July 2018 charged with possessing 31 indecent photographs of children.

He was sentenced to a 12 month Community order and instructed to complete 150 hours unpaid work alongside paying a £85 victim surcharge.

Ms Roberts, 21, worked for the retail chain H&M Credit: Cavendish Press

Recording a conclusion of suicide, Coroner Zak Golombeck told the Manchester hearing: “I have considered the totality of the evidence and I am able to conclude that Lydia Roberts took her own life and intended to do so. There is evidence relating to her mental health and the nature of the correspondence taking place on that day between herself and Adam Wells.”

Ms Roberts, who worked for the retail chain H&M,  had been prescribed medication for depression as she had a previous history of suicide attempts.

She had been in a relationship with Wells for two years when she found inappropriate images of young girls from a Russian based website on one of his phones. 

In a statement Miss Robert’s mother Michelle said: “Lydia felt violated, hurt and disgusted at what she found - even more so at the thought of Adam being with her young niece and nephew. I feel that he made her make the decision to do what she did.”

She added: “As a family we are devastated at the loss of our beautiful daughter and for this we will never forgive him. In our opinion we are left now with more unanswered questions and hope one day to find out the truth.”