Brit champion pole dancer hanged herself after ‘struggling’ in lockdown

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A pole dancing champion killed herself because she struggled with the mental strain lockdown, an inquest was told.

Jessica Leanne Norris, a two-time Miss Pole Dance UK winner, hanged herself at a friend's house in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on June 15 last year.

The court was told the 27-year-old had stuck a letter on her bedroom door, which read: "Don't come in. Ring 999. I'm so sorry."

A second note was left for Jessica's gran, in which she said she loved her.

The fitness instructor had struggled with mental health problems since her teens, the hearing heard.

Jessica's mum Alanna Norris said: "Jess led a life of structure, and struggled when lockdown meant that she could not teach or take part in pole dancing competitions."

Jessica, who was prescribed antidepressants, spent the first lockdown in March last year at friend Brian Crompton's house.

On the day she died, Mr Crompton texted Jessica while at work to check how she was. He didn't get a response.

He discovered Jessica in her bedroom after returning home.

A toxicology report revealed there were no drugs or alcohol in her system, the court was told.

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Prof Alan Walsh, area coroner for Manchester West, recorded a verdict of suicide.

Jessica launched her first pole-dancing studio when she was just 15. She was later crowned Miss Pole Dance UK in 2011 and 2015.

Four years later she set up a campaign to raise money for mental health charities.

Kay Penney, founder of Miss Pole Dance UK, called Jessica a "national treasure".

"Thank you for your contribution and as a true ambassador for the aerial arts, touching so many lives, hearts and souls, lifting many of us with your entertaining, unforgettable and mesmerising routines," she said.

"Thank you for your unquestionable dedication and sharing your talent through many classes, masterclasses, camps, events and competitions.

"You shone like a beacon of hope on so many stages and your legacy will live on forever in the history of pole and personally as my pole daughter, who constantly showed your gratitude over the years and during your reign as double female singles champion."

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

  • Inquests
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