A POPULAR Hampshire teenager took his life after struggling to come to terms with being accused of rape, an inquest heard.

Winchester Coroners Court heard how 17-year-old Jay Cheshire who was found hanging from a tree in Riverside Park in Southampton on July 3 and died two days later at Southampton General Hospital.

The hearing heard how Jay, who was a sixth form student at Bitterne Park School, had been the centre of a police investigation – which ended two weeks later in June when the alleged rape victim dropped the allegation.

Jay's mother Karin Cheshire, believes that the rape allegation was a factor in his death.

Miss Cheshire said: "She accused him of rape and said he was a sexual offender.

"He was absolutely distraught.

"Two weeks later she said she withdrew the allegations."

She paid tribute to her son and said: "He was a wonderful young man with a great love of history."

Jay's death was a shock to everyone at the school and he was described by friends and family as a kind, funny and bright youngster.

The inquest heard a statement from Head of sixth form at Bitterne Park School, Olivia Murphy.

She described him as hard-working and as someone who took his studies very seriously.

She said he 'embraced' sixth form, and he was an excellent student ambassador.

A statement from Dr Kerin Hutchison at Chessel Practice in Sholing, read out during the hearing revealed he had a history of having a low mood .

The hearing also heard evidence from Dr McColl, a psychiatrist at the Orchard Centre in Southampton where Jay had been a patient since the age of 13.

She said Jay was put on anti-depressants in February and was set to undergo cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).

In March his state of mind had improved and doctors said CBT was not 'urgently' needed anymore.

In May, Jay's family contacted them once more saying he was under pressure due to a 'police matter’ and he was low again.

On June 24, he visited the centre once more and said the police matter was dropped and he was expecting to find work.

Jay was studying English Literature, Film Studies and Geography for his AS levels and wanted to be a history teacher or a writer. He was also a huge fan of TV series Game of Thrones and enjoyed computer games.

The inquest heard a statement from Head of Bitterne Park Sixth Form Olivia Murphy who described Jay as an excellent student ambassador who took his studies seriously and was very hard-working.

As reported in the Daily Echo, Jay was discovered hanging on July 3 and died on July 5. Police who arrived at the scene found a note in Jay's bag, and a note was also left for his family and in his locker at sixth form.

Senior coroner Grahame Short recorded a verdict of suicide, he said: "I got the impression he was well liked and mature in some ways, but was a sensitive young man and vulnerable in some respects and he found it difficult to cope with the police investigation."