Student found dead in Hartley Grove ruled a suicide by inquest

An inquest into the death of a student found dead in Hartley Grove halls in April has been told he committed suicide. Alexander Ukwu, a first year student of MEng Electrical […]


An inquest into the death of a student found dead in Hartley Grove halls in April has been told he committed suicide.

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Alexander Ukwu, a first year student of MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering, was found dead on April 23rd by maintenance staff on a routine shower head change.

Flatmate Jamie Brooks, who called 999 on the scene, said he had not seen Alexander for two weeks, and that he “kept himself to himself”.

“I was in the kitchen. One of them [maintenance staff] came in and said ‘can you come and check on your mate?’ and I went in to his room and saw him lying on the floor”

Helium canisters were found in the room, along with a note which said “Love you so so so much, see you soon

Dr Vipul Foria from Southampton General Hospital said it is likely Alexander died a number of days before being found. The cause of death is believed to have been asphyxiation.

Senior coroner Grahame Short gave a suicide verdict. He told the inquest: “It’s not possible for me to say why he took this action.

“He may have been struggling with the course and been reluctant to share his problems with others.”

“I think his isolation in a foreign country may have been another factor.”

The University of Southampton said in a statement following the inquest:

“Alexander was a valued member of our student community and our thoughts and sympathies continue to be with his family and friends.”

We urge that if you feel in any way affected by the news, you seek help from our University’s support services.

We also stress that if you need any extra support while at university there are many informal services available for you.

Nightline, Student Minds, Peer Support at SUSU and enabling services will all confidentially direct you to the help you need.

Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Alexander at this very difficult time.