A 'SENSITIVE' and 'happy' 13-year-old boy from Wantage who hanged himself in his bedroom may have been attempting to take a photograph, a coroner said yesterday.

Senior coroner for Oxfordshire Darren Salter recorded a 'no conclusion' verdict on the death of Conor Page, who was just weeks away from his 14th birthday when he was found by his mother Joanne Smethurst slumped against his door at their Humber Close home on February 11.

Speaking at the King Alfred's Academy student's inquest at Oxford Coroner's Court yesterday, Mr Salter called it an 'extremely sad case' with a hard-to-understand motive, adding: "Conor had a clearly supportive family around him. He was a sensitive lad as shown in evidence from his family.

"Outwardly to family and friends there was no clue about what was to happen, no evidence of problems at school or home and nothing happened that morning. It makes the events all the more shocking."

Step-dad Robert Smethurst performed CPR on the teenager and he was rushed by paramedics to Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital just after 11am but died from his injuries.

A CT scan revealed the extended lack of oxygen had caused a 'very severe brain injury', according to evidence from Dr Janet McCluskey, and Conor died at 12.10am on Monday, February 12, of multi-organ failure due to asphyxiation.

Statements from the teenager's parents and step-dad revealed the death had come as a 'massive shock'.

Conor's father David Page said his son had stayed with him in the days leading up to that Sunday, and he had seemed in a good mood, going to Wantage youth club The Sweatbox on the Friday night.

He described his son as a 'really sensitive kid', while Mrs Smethurst said her son was a 'happy teenager' who had been looking forward to his birthday on February 24.

She added: "I have no way of explaining what Conor did. The day started like any other."

Mr Smethurst said Conor was 'prone to mood swings' but was sociable, enjoyed school and he had seen no sign the teenager may be suicidal, adding: "I didn't see this coming at all."

DC Victoria John, from Thames Valley Police, told the court the only evidence officers could find of suicidal or self-harm thoughts were in messages exchanged over several months between Conor and his girlfriend which she called 'teenage angst'.

Early on Saturday, February 10, he had sent her a photograph of self harm on his arms following an argument and two messages were also sent by Conor shortly before his death stating his intention to take his life.

Explaining his 'no conclusion' verdict, Mr Salter said he was not satisfied Conor had intended to take his life but was also unable to be certain from the evidence the death had been accidental.

He added: "It is possible there was an element of escalation in the messaging. Perhaps, and I am merely speculating, an explanation is he was attempting to take a photograph."

Conor's suicide comes after two other pupils at the Wantage school also took their own lives in recent years.

Dylan Edwards, 15, killed himself at home in October 2015, and 16-year-old Ela Ozbayraktar took her own life in November 2016.

A joint statement issued on behalf of King Alfred's Academy, the NHS, Thames Valley Police and Oxfordshire County Council said: “We would like to express our sincere condolences to the family at this sad and difficult time.

"Oxfordshire services for children and young people have been and will continue to work to support the family and any individuals affected by this tragic loss.”