Coroner demands review into death of graduate

Oliver Wortley

Oliver Wortley

First published in News
Last updated
Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

THE PARENTS of a young graduate who died earlier this year have paid tribute to their son after a coroner ruled he committed suicide.

Oliver Wortley, 23, was found hanging in the conservatory of his parents’ Begbroke home by his father Chris.

He was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, but died on May 2 from asphyxiation and a brain injury.

The family’s tribute came after a coroner called for a health trust to review the circumstances surrounding his death.

The former Chipping Norton School and Oxford and Cherwell Valley College  student had graduated with a degree in fine art from Oxford Brookes University last year and had been an active campaigner with Greenpeace.

He was reported to have travelled widely and spoke multiple languages, often using his skills while serving foreign visitors at the Nosebag restaurant in Oxford, where he worked.

He leaves behind his parents Chris and Helen and younger brother Alex.

Mr and Mrs Wortley said: “Oli was always engaged in the world around him, he was committed to ideas and discussion about politics, art, religion.

“Oli was gay and was candid and courageous about it, although typically he didn’t fit neatly into any preconceptions about what that means.

“Although his early departure leaves us bereft, we take comfort from the many tributes paid by those who knew him, we take pride in what he achieved whilst battling mental illness and hope that if we can ever overcome our grief we will feel blessed to have had him with us for as long as we did.”

Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter has said he will write to Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust asking for a review into Oliver’s death.

When Mr Wortley found his son at 2am on April 26, it was less than two hours after Oliver had called a mental health nurse at the trust to say he was feeling suicidal.

At the inquest last Tuesday, Mr Salter raised concerns that the nurse had not known whether she could alert his parents, who were asleep at home.

He has called for the trust to investigate whether it can be made more clear if there is “a supportive family background” in future cases.

Mr Salter said: “It seems to me that this is the sort of case where if that had been clear, an action plan could have involved a call to the next of kin at that point in time.”

 Mr Wortley added: “As was evident at the hearing, issues around communication and consent clearly contributed to our son’s death.

 “If we had been kept more up-to-date about the deterioration of his condition, I believe we might have been more alert.

 “If this tragedy helps to bring about a change for the better, so that families are kept fully in the picture, then we can at least take some consolation.”

  • Coroner’s verdict: suicide

Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed

  • Our top stories

Cyclists warned: Don't be dimwits

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 25th October 2014

BIKE safety campaigners have warned that cyclists are risking their lives, after an Oxford Mail survey found more than half of them were riding without lights.

Football match in Banbury stopped after bottle was thrown towards the referee

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

5:18pm Saturday 25th October 2014

A FOOTBALL match was abandoned this afternoon after a bottle was thrown onto the pitch.

Extra hour tonight! Celebrate with top bands at unique Oxford gig

Oxford Mail:

1:40pm Saturday 25th October 2014

With an extra hour to enjoy - or recover with - tonight is the perfect night to celebrate one of Oxford's biggest nights of music

FOOTBALL: Rose wants to keep Oxford United climbing

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 25th October 2014

Danny Rose is targeting a move into mid-table today as Oxford United visit Carlisle United in search of a third win in eight days.

Shhh... silent film is a reel hit with movie buffs

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 25th October 2014

FILM buffs were given a taste of how movies used to be watched as they turned out for a silent screening in Witney.

Update: Oxford University student Isobel Priest is found safe and well

Oxford Mail:

8:49am Saturday 25th October 2014

Police have said the 21-year-old Oxford University student who was reported missing has been found safe and well.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree