UK
28/05/2014 08:35 BST | Updated 28/05/2014 08:59 BST

Call Of Duty Teenager Suicide Link Investigated By 'Greatly Concerned' Coroner

A coroner has expressed "great concern" about the impact of the video game of Call of Duty after presiding over a series of inquests of teenagers who played it regularly and killed themselves.

In the latest hearing schoolboy William Menzies, 16, who was ''always'' playing the computer game, killed himself without explanation.

He was studying A levels in biology, physics, politics and psychology at one of Britain's top grammar schools and was a straight A student.

william menzies

William Menzies was 'always' playing Call of Duty before his death, his inquest heard

In February 2012 Callum Green, 14, hanged himself after playing Call of Duty with his stepfather. The game has also been linked to the deaths of two other unnamed teenagers.

Recording a suicide verdict in William Menzies' death, coroner John Pollard said: "I have to say, and this is after three or four inquests into the deaths of teens, the Call of Duty game seems to be figuring in recent activity before death. It concerns me greatly.

''It has figured in a number of deaths which I'm investigating. I suspect but I don't know because I don't have enough evidence.''

Earlier, the inquest was told William, a talented artist, lived with his parents John, 56, and Anne, 52, and older brother Alexander, 19, and attended Altrincham Grammar School where he attained 12 GCSEs at Grade A.

John Menzies said: ''Nothing about him caused concern. He was very taken with his studies and he enjoyed playing his xBox. The game he always played was Call of Duty.

''He was rather self-contained, he didn't like going out a great deal. He didn't drink or smoke, he was the opposite to that."

He continued: ''He had exams coming up but that wouldn't cause him any worry as he was a straight-A student. He never threatened self-harm to my knowledge.

''We had been playing badminton together in the last few months and we were speaking about that and normal things.''

The tragedy occurred on February 17 during the half term holidays after Mr Menzies gave his son the science fiction novel 'Never Let Me Go' to read.

John Menzies added: "He was happy that day and the last thing I heard him do was laugh so I could only guess as to why he might have done it but there is no doubt that he intended to take his life."

Det Insp David Moores of Greater Manchester Police said there was nothing to indicate why William had killed himself.

"His was a normal boy's bedroom with books and models and it was tidy," the officer said.

''The computers were tested to see his internet history and there was nothing of any interest and nothing to suggest he had been researching any sites."

In 2012, Pollard presided over the inquest of Callum Green who was found dead after being grounded by his mother following a row.

Pollard recorded an open verdict saying the boy may have wanted to shock his mother. He also issued a warning to parents to ensure children do not have access to adult-only video games.

If you've been affected by any issues raised in this story and want to speak to someone about it, you can contact the Samaritans charity on 08457 909090.