A UNIVERSITY student took his own life after being accused of plagiarism in his final dissertation, an inquest heard.

Alistair Hall, 22, was found dead in his room in student halls in Portsmouth, Hants, having suffering a heart arrhythmia after taken a drug overdose.

A note found on his computer stated that "things went wrong one too many times" and referred to a previous suicide attempt when he had problems with his A-Levels, as well as the death of his mother.

The inquest heard the "kind and gentle" University of Portsmouth student had been informed a month before his death that his dissertation would receive a zero mark because it was considered to have plagiarised an example work provided for his course.

Although Alistair would have had his dissertation discounted, his previous grades meant he would still have graduated and he was posthumously awarded a 2.1 degree in diagnostic radiography, the hearing was told.

Future employers would also not have been actively informed about the ruling, Portsmouth Coroner's Court heard.

But tragically, Alistair was found dead at Unite Chaucer House on June 27 2020.

Recording a verdict of suicide, coroner, Christopher Wilkinson, said: "He was a very special young man to his family, a very cherished son, someone who was polite, kind, gentle, sensitive, respectful and dedicated.

"It appears he had applied himself to his studies, he had ambitions in his life which he was looking to develop, both academically, personal and professional.

"It's reflected in his posthumous degree the work that he had put into that three-year degree where he was a credit to the university."

Mr Wilkinson said that he believed the plagiarism accusation had contributed to his personal struggles in "finding his place in the world".

"In the end, those underlying feelings which had never left Alistair came to the fore as well as the more acute pressures of the dissertation," he added.

"While I do not believe that was the sole reason, I can only believe it had an impact on his way of thinking."

In a statement read to the hearing, his family said: "Alistair was very special to all of us, a miracle IVF baby, so-wanted, and a beautiful gift to us.

"Tragically his birth mother died when he was 18 months old.

"He was a happy boy, bright, kind, gentle and respectful."

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans for free on 116123.

You’re Not Alone

EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

  • CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
  • Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
  • Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
  • Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
  • Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
  • Movember, www.uk.movember.com
  • Anxiety UK www.anxietyuk.org.uk, 03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm

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