Talented uni graduate, 22, found hanged after becoming 'paranoid' she was 'punching above her weight' in relationship

A TALENTED university graduate was found hanged after becoming paranoid that she was punching above her weight in a relationship, an inquest heard today.

Rosie Johnson, 22, had a row with her boyfriend the night she was last seen and had been dwelling on a comment from a stranger who told her she was "punching".

The zoology grad, who was working at a holiday camp where she had met boyfriend Brendan, was also worried about work before she disappeared, the inquest heard.

She was said to be anxious about a mediation meeting at the camp, following a minor dispute with a colleague.

The University of Glasgow graduate was last seen by her room mate at PGL Little Canada, where she worked as an activities instructor on the Isle of Wight.

Ariane Massey, 27, told the hearing how Rosie had met Brendan when she started working at Little Canada, near Ryde, in February 2019 and they soon became a couple.

But cracks began to show in the relationship after a night out which led to Rosie feeling "insecure".

Miss Massey said: "When we were out in Ryde just having a few drinks she told me that this guy came up to her and said she was 'punching' to get Brendan.

"She was annoyed with it and mentioned it a few times. I wasn't there at the time but she mentioned it to me several times.

"It's like she couldn't let it go. She would say it when she was upset – that she was 'punching'."

Caroline Sumeray, area coroner for the Isle of Wight, asked: “So she wasn't capable of brushing off what some random loony said to her?”

Miss Massey replied “not really, no”, adding: "I think sometimes it made them fall out and – not have an argument – but I know she would get insecure about it."

She explained that on the night of the comment Rosie had been so upset she stayed out all night and then had to be picked up by Miss Massey and Brendan at about 7am, after they finally tracked her down at Ryde train station.

On the day she went missing – Sunday, June 23 – some of the workers, including Rosie went for brunch at Cibo in nearby Wootton Bridge.

Another colleague Naomi Jackson, 29, said she had a chat with Rosie later that evening while the group played games in the staff room.

Ms Jackson said: "She found it upsetting that people had made comments since she had been with Brendan that he was too good for her.”

She explained that another girl was "jealous" of Rosie because Brendan was a "handsome chap" and had "made Rosie feel very uncomfortable".

Later that night, Miss Massey said Rosie was drunk and upset when talking to her boyfriend and told her: "I'm done. I'm done with Brendan," before going for a walk at around 11pm.

She said the row was about the mediation meeting Rosie was due to have the next day, as she did not want to do it but Brendan had told her she should "get it over and done with".

Rosie, from the village of Strachan, in Aberdeenshire, was reported missing by PGL on Monday June 24, when she did not turn up for work, which was considered out of character.

Extensive police searches were carried out and Isle of Wight Coroner's Court today heard her body was found hanged in woodland, in the Briddlesford area, at 3.20pm on Friday, June 28.

A post-mortem examination found the cause of death was hanging and Rosie was identified by her dental records.

A toxicologist found no traces of drugs, medication or alcohol in her blood.

The inquest continues.


EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

  • CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
  • Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
  • Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
  • Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
  • Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123

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