The father of a schoolgirl who took her life at a prestigious boarding school in Buckinghamshire is on a mission to understand whether his daughter's autism put her at a higher suicidal risk.

Jonathan Scott-Lee, 42, told The Sunday Times in an interview published today (November 26) that he is still seeking to understand what drove his 16-year-old daughter Caitlyn, a bright student at Wycombe Abbey in High Wycombe, to take her own life earlier this year.

The 16-year-old passed away in April, just hours before she was due to attend a two-hour headmistress's detention for keeping vodka and a tattoo kit in her locker.

Mr Scott-Lee told the newspaper that he had aided police in their investigation by using his cyber security experience to hack into his daughter's mobile phone after the force had difficulty trying to unlock it.

Parts of Caitlyn's diary, submitted to a coroner for an inquest in April, showed that the upcoming detention had been weighing on her mind and her father has recently taken a leave from his banking work at HSBC to try to understand how better treatment of her autism might have helped to save the 16-year-old's life.

On her mobile phone, Mr Scott-Lee found a note entitled 'mood blanket', where she had written out and colour-coded her moods from January 2023 up to the day of her death.

He noted that the period running up to the scheduled detention was marked black.

Although the tragic incident has motivated the 42-year-old, who has autism himself, to research how the spectrum condition can better be treated through the introduction of intervention and safeguarding tactics, he is also a father who is still grieving the loss of his daughter, less than a year on from her passing.

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"I wish she could have asked for help directly, but autistic people find that difficult.

"Nothing I can do will bring Caitlyn back. I hope no other parents have to traverse the same path of grief I now walk."

During a hearing held at Beaconsfield Coroner's Court in September, Senior Coroner Crispin Butler said there would never be a "100 per cent picture" of what happened in April, something that "wasn't entirely visible to anyone, maybe not even to Caitlyn".

A further pre-inquest review of the case will be held before a final hearing, which is expected to take place in the spring of 2024.


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