THE heartbroken mother of a teenager who hanged himself over rape allegations has now taken her own life in the same way shortly after the anniversary of his death.

The family of grief-stricken Karin Cheshire, 55, revealed she couldn't see a future without her son Jay Cheshire, whose body was found in a park near their family home.

The tragic mum-of-two was desperate to investigate the allegations against her 17-year-old son because she believed police mishandled the situation.

But she fell into a deep depression and her brother Simon Cheshire, 58, said his distraught sister simply couldn't see a future without her son.

An inquest into her death opened this week and heard she died on July 18 in the same way as her son - asphyxiation as a result of hanging.

Neighbours entered her home in the Bitterne area of Southampton after becoming worried when they had not heard from her or seen her walk her beloved pet Shih Tzu.

Tragically, they discovered her body in the three bedroom family home.

Now her devastated family are seeking answers from the girl who accused Jay of raping her, and want to hear the girl's mother's side of the story as well.

Simon even went as far as to say the girl's allegations have now resulted in two deaths in his family.

Karin was due to move out of the rented house into a smaller one bedroom flat, and relatives had helped her clear out the memories left behind by Jay.

She leaves behind her daughter Camellia, 21, who is said to be 'numb' at losing a second close family member in the space of 12 months.

Simon, a father of three, said: "I now think Karin had been preparing for this, as we've been clearing out her house for the past three months.

"It came to the anniversary of Jay's death and, sadly, although I almost expected her to do something, I'm shocked she actually took her life in the same fashion.

"She just couldn't see a future without Jay."

He said the whole family have not got over Jay's death, who died at Southampton General Hospital, on July 5 last year two days after he was found hanging in a park.

Karin spoke out after his death, revealing she had to make the heart-wrenching decision to switch off his life support.

Speaking last October following Jay's inquest at Winchester Crown Court, Hants, she said: "The rape allegation was the main reason he killed himself.

"I was very close to my son. He was a huggy type of lad. He was like me, he hid a lot of his pain.

"I'm quite sure he was called a rapist a number of times but he did not tell me.

"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.

"He was a wonderful young man with a great love of history."

She added: "I switched his life support off. If I have to think about it I will cry.

"It's the worst thing a mum could have to do. It was traumatic.

"My last conversation with my son before he left home went, 'I love you mum, I love you Jay'."

After she fell into a deep depression, her brother said she turned down offers of family support, instead seeking support from others sharing a common grief.

She turned to close friend and neighbour Theresa Beddoe, and it was she who found Karin's lifeless body last week.

Simon, a driver for BlueStar bus company, said he last saw his sister on July 1, shortly before the anniversary of Jay's death, and described Karin as looking 'vacant' and 'zombie-like'.

Referring back to Jay's death, he said: "We think the allegations tipped him over the edge.

"He was a well-loved student, who was bright and caring, and for him to do something like that just didn't make sense.

"The anger I feel is that this girl and her mum have taken two lives with their allegations.

"Karin wanted to pursue an inquiry because it was really badly mishandled by the police - the allegations went on for weeks before Jay was told there was no evidence.

"How can these allegations have been made?"

His inquest heard he was 'absolutely distraught' at the accusations, which were withdrawn after he was voluntarily interviewed by police.

Simon added: "I saw Karin a couple of weeks before, around the anniversary of Jay's death, and she seemed vacant and zombie-like.

"She used to be so different, she was just a really, really intelligent woman who probably could have written books - she even kept a diary for 40 years.

"But what happened to Jay just finished her off and she never recovered.

"The whole thing is just so tragic, and I do feel anger with the girl. I would really like to meet her and hear her side of the story."

Camellia has been left to arrange funeral plans with Simon's mother and stepfather.

Neighbours today described Karin appearing frail before her death.

One said: "She just never got over Jay's death. She changed from being a chatty neighbour to someone who would be so isolated.

"I was very surprised by Jay's death, but sadly I wasn't so surprised by Karin's.

"My husband saw Camellia last week and she just said to us that she was numb.

"The poor family - they are barely getting over what happened last year. I just think it's terribly sad - Jay was so young, how could he have known what he was doing?"

Jay was a sixth form student at Bitterne Park School in Southampton studying English Literature, Film Studies and Geography - and hoped to become a history teacher or a writer.

The inquest, held in September last year, heard he had a history of having a low mood, was put on anti-depressants and was due to undergo cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).

When police arrived at the scene where he hanged himself, they found Jay had left a note.

Jay also left a note for his family and one in his sixth form locker.

Central Hampshire senior coroner Grahame Short, overseeing his inquest, recorded a verdict of suicide and said he struggled to cope with the accusations and the investigation.

He said: "He was a sensitive young man and vulnerable in some respects and he found it difficult to cope with the police investigation."