London - A schoolgirl with a history of sleepwalking died when she walked into her wardrobe in the middle of the night and accidentally hanged herself, an inquest heard.
Hazel Bradley, 13, had gone to bed as normal but was found dead the next morning by her father Graham, 44.
An inquest heard that Hazel was petrified of her wardrobe after watching the Pixar film Monsters Inc, in which creepy beasts emerge from bedroom doors to scare children.
The talented musician and swimmer had a ‘vivid imagination’ and a long history of sleepwalking, her parents Graham and Rebecca told Gwent Coroner’s Court.
Mr Bradley, a company director, said they had once found her walking around the kitchen in the middle of the night dressed in her school uniform.
Violinist Mrs Bradley, 43, said she had hugged and kissed her daughter goodnight after a ‘lovely chat’ at around 9.20pm on May 23, at their four-bedroom home in Caerphilly, South Wales.
She was found dead in her uniform at 6.45am the next morning. The inquest heard the cause of death was hanging, although the hearing did not explain exactly how Hazel died.
Her mother said she had "issues with her wardrobe", adding: "She always had to have the door shut.
"I am convinced she was sleepwalking. She had so much to live for."
A post-mortem examination confirmed that the cause of death was hanging.
Evidence from police indicated that there were no signs of disturbance or of anything suspicious in the family’s home.
Delivering a conclusion of accidental death, senior Gwent coroner Wendy James said: "Hazel left no note nor had she communicated any such intention to her parents.
"Hazel had a history of sleepwalking and based on the evidence I cannot be certain of her intentions, and I cannot rule out the possibility that death arose as a result of a tragic accident."
After her death, friends and family raised more than £2 500 for a children’s charity.
In a funeral notice issued in June, her parents said their "beautiful daughter Hazel Georgina Bradley" had been "taken from us far too soon", adding: "Hazel touched many people from all walks of life."
Around one in 25 adults and one in five children sleepwalk, and around 80 per cent regularly wake up while strolling around the house.
Severe sleepwalkers can carry out complex, but familiar, tasks such as driving. Experts think stress is a major contributor to the condition.Daily Mail