A 16-year-old singer who twice auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent killed herself after being bullied and groomed by an older man, an inquest heard.
Talented musician and actress Beatrix Hart, known as Trixie, seemed destined for stardom before she ended her life by hanging herself at home.
The inquest she had a long history of mental illness which deteriorated when she felt “let down” by the police for not pursuing an allegation sexual assault against a 44-year-old friend of her father.
She later opened up about being groomed and claimed she had also been “raped” by a boy from college just days before she died.
Her family say she was also the victim of ‘vicious’ online abuse and would often be left in floods of tears in front of a computer – often being called a ‘slag’ and ‘ugly by her cruel taunters.
And an inquest heard it all became too much for Trixie who took her own life at home in September 2018.
Guy Davies, assistant coroner for Cornwall, gave a legal cause of death as suicide and said Trixie hung herself at home.
He said: “In the context of Trixie’s mental illness and her expressed intent, Trixie’s death was almost inevitable.
“Her death was the result of her being overwhelmed by her mental illness. There were failings in Trixie’s care by children’s services and Duchy College.
“My conclusion is that it is unlikely that if these failings had been avoided that Trixie’s life would have been saved.
“Her death was in that case unavoidable. Notwithstanding the tremendous and heroic efforts of the parents and wider family.
“There was in my conclusion nothing more that the family could have done and there was nothing more that mental health services could have done to prevent the terrible outcome.”
Mr Davies said the cause of death was given in the post mortem as “hanging.”
He added: “We’ve heard that she was an intelligent and engaging child, with an exceptional talent for singing.
“Trixie’s mother described Trixie as complex, and one witness in discussion with Mrs Ballinger, her teacher, described Trixie as the most complex child he’d ever met.”
Mr Davies discussed how Trixie felt emotions strongly and often felt overwhelmed, which impacted her mood.
The inquest heard Trixie had fought a long-running battle with crippling depression, anxiety and an eating disorder relating to body image.
She was admitted to hospital on several occasions and had taken five previous overdoses.
Her mother Charlotte Ballinger had earlier told the inquest: “I always thought if we love her enough, which we all did desperately, that we would find a way to navigate the difficult years of her teens and get her through the end of it and she had so much going for her.
“She could be such a compassionate and funny talented young woman, we all saw that, all the time, and had such high hopes for her.”
DC Tim Barbery, of Devon and Cornwall Police, told the coroner her mental health began to deteriorate after she started attending Callington Community College as others “didn’t get who she was or what she was about”.
She started to self harm and on one occasion ran away from school and home.
DC Barbery said: “There had also been some bullying of Trixie by so called friends.”
Trixie was taken out of school by her mother and would submit work over the internet but became vulnerable to exploitation.
She later moved away from her mother’s home in Gunnislake, Cornwall to live with her father in Southampton and got heavily involved in the open mic scene.
But while living there, she was groomed by a 44-year-old male friend of her fathers.
Police investigated the allegations but didn’t pursue charges.
The coroner heard Trixie felt frustrated and let down by the police after being told the sexual abuse allegations weren’t to be taken further.
She stopped taking her medication and returned to her mother’s home in Cornwall where she continued to struggle with her mental health.
On the Friday before she died she claimed she had been “raped” by a boy in college – although no charges were brought after he claimed it was consensual.
On the day of her death, Mrs Ballinger went into her daughter’s room to wake her up for college. After she finished work she returned home, where Trixie was found dead.
Speaking outside the inquest, her family claim she was the target of ‘vicious’ online abuse due to her ‘alternative’ look and jealousy over her singing voice.
A family member said she felt the bullying – on top of her battles with mental health – had become too much for the teen to cope with.
She added: “She was horribly misunderstood, and subjected to bullying online.
“People fell out with her and called her a slag and told her she was ugly.
“She had an amazing singing voice and I think there was jealousy about that.
“It was relentless.
“It wasn’t just bullying, it contributed to an already anxious girl.
“Social media didn’t cause her problems but it certainly didn’t help her mental instability and depression which was part of her make-up.”
Trixie last auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent in October 2014 as a 12-year-old but despite two attempts never made it on the television version of the show.