Depressed Bristol teenager ‘addicted to shopping’ kills himself

‘Much loved’ and ‘respected’ teenager jumped off Clifton Suspension Bridge after his mother discovered he’d stolen from her to pay for shopping sprees


A Bristol teenager jumped off the Clifton Suspension Bridge because of an obsession with shopping, which led to him stealing thousands from his mum.

19 year-old James Hammonds struggled with OCD and depression. During the ten weeks before his suicide, he had stolen a total of £7,780, which he used to fund spending sprees in clothes shops and nightclubs.

After his mum discovered the theft, she told him he needed to get help. However, tragically, James killed himself the next day.

James’ mum told the inquest into her son’s death that he was depressed.

“He displayed obsessive behaviour – cleaning and often throwing things away having recently bought them.”

“He had a shopping addiction and this was where a large sum of money was spent.”

Picture: @PrimeshPatel

Picture: @PrimeshPatel

Last year, James had been caught stealing money while on holiday in Magaluf. According to his mother’s boyfriend, “it was mainly clothes and trainers – he liked to look good…I don’t know how common it is but it was a compulsion for internet shopping.”

There were criticisms of the mental health team which dealt with James. In the weeks leading up to his death, in which James made clear his suicidal feelings because of his money troubles, they only spoke to him by phone and did not visit him.

James’ family say he was a “much loved” and “respected family member” with a “great sense of humour”.

“He was depressed and what he did was totally out of character.”