Inquest rules journalist Hanna Yusuf committed suicide

The BBC journalist Hanna Yusuf took her own life, an inquest has concluded.

Westminster Coroner’s Court heard that the 27-year-old’s best friend committed suicide weeks before Ms Yusuf was found dead inside a flat in Paddington, west London, in September 2019.

Her body was  found by her landlady on September 27 and paramedics said she had been dead for some time.

PC Harvey Platt said there were no signs of disturbance or a note, adding that the death was deemed non-suspicious.

Coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe recorded Ms Yusuf’s death as suicide.

In February 2018 Ms Yusuf was admitted to Newham General Hospital after taking an overdose, the BBC reports.

Dr Radcliffe told the court that Ms Yusuf “regretted” the incident and that she enjoyed her work as a journalist “which was her main protective factor.” She added: “She felt alone, that there was no one in the world for her, [she] had had a traumatic childhood and had been trying to block emotions for a long time – but it had affected her.”

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Ms Yusuf started therapy sessions with Lesley Cameron from March 2018 until January 2019. But the counsellor told the inquest she had no idea Ms Yusuf had previously tried to take her own life. “She had presented [at] times of being depressed and more about confused feelings of being hopeless,” Ms Cameron said.

In August 2019 Ms Yusuf messaged Ms Cameron following the death of her best friend and the pair met on September 12 for a “one off session.” “She was shocked and deeply saddened. Troubled that her friend had not told her she was feeling so low,” Ms Cameron told the court.

Dr Radcliffe described Ms Yusuf as a “brave journalist who loved bringing people together.”

The court heard she had been diagnosed with sleep disturbance “due to work stress and irregular shift patterns”.

Ms Yusuf wrote for the BBC News website and had also worked as a TV news producer.

Fran Unsworth, the BBC’s director of news, said she was a “talented young journalist who was widely admired.”

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