A coroner has said he will write to the Culture Secretary to express his disgust at the press following the suicide of a transgender teacher. This is from the Telegraph…
Lucy Meadows, 32, killed herself after returning to her primary school following her gender change, which received widespread media coverage.
At her inquest today, the coroner, Michael Singleton, said he was “appalled” by the level of media “intrusion” and “ill-informed bigotry”.
He said that “nothing has been learnt from the Leveson Inquiry” and that his letter to Maria Miller would call for the immediate implementation of all the inquiry’s recommendations.
Mr Singleton also told journalists present at the inquest in Blackburn, Lancs, that they should be ashamed of themselves.
Miss Meadows, who was formerly known as Nathan Upton, was found dead at her home in Accrington in March. In a suicide note, she said she had received “overwhelming” support over her gender change, but had suffered “loss and pain” following the deaths of her parents, a close friend and her grandfather.
Her former wife, Ruth Smith, with whom she had a young son, told the inquest that the teacher was “annoyed” when press reports appeared about a letter sent to parents at St Mary Magdalen’s Church of England Primary School in Accrington, explaining that Mr Upton had made “a significant change in his life” and would be returning to the school after Christmas as Miss Meadows.
The teacher complained to the Press Complaints Commission about being harassed by the media, in particular about an article in the Daily Mail.
Mr Singleton said: “Lucy Meadows was not someone who had thrust herself into the public limelight. Her only crime was to be different.”
The coroner added that had the note contained reference to the press, “I would have no difficulty in summonsing various journalists and editors to this inquest to give evidence and be called into account, but Lucy Meadows rose above that”.