Tuesday 17 July 2018

Mass Suicide Pact? Brothers killed themselves in ‘chain of suicides that included Love Island’s Sophie Gradon and her boyfriend’

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Two brothers who died within weeks of one another after killing themselves were friends with Love Island’s Sophie Gradon and her boyfriend who also took their own lives. Dylan and Darryl Smith’s father revealed that they grew up with Sophie and her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong who both died within the last month. Billy Smith told Mail Online ‘things need to change’ as he spoke out against a culture of youngsters not opening up about mental health issues. All four suicide victims grew up together in Blyth and were said to be close friends.

Mr Smith said: ‘They’d known each other all their lives. It’s simply tragic they have all died within such a short space of time.} ‘These deaths highlight the fact there is a mental health epidemic among young people. They were both lovely lads, friendly and well respected in the area.’ Darryl Smith, 27, was found dead on June 13, a week before Sophie, 32, took her own life following a battle with anxiety. Dylan, 22, died on Sunday less than three weeks after Darryl’s death while Aaron was found dead on July 10 after writing ‘I will see u very soon my angel’ online. Shortly after the loss of his brother, Dylan wrote on Facebook: ‘My best friend, brother and dad all in one. I can’t put into words how devastating this is.

‘I thank you all for your kind words I don’t [know] how I can reply to any of your messages. ‘He was an inspiration to a lot of people and I am truly amazed by the response of the people in Blyth that have [come] together.’ Friends paid tributes to the brother with one describing Dylan as ‘a cheeky chappy with an infectious smile. Their brother Liam said: ‘Words can not describe how I feel to lose you as well. Give Darryl a hug from me.’ After Darryl’s death in June, more than £9,000 was raised towards the cost of a horse-drawn carriage to take him through the streets of Blyth.

Hundreds also gathered by the town’s beach to remember the 27-year-old loving father and released balloons – many featuring personal messages and tributes. Another fundraising page has been set up by family friend Leanne Hayter, who said: ‘Dylan was a Jack the Lad; a real cheeky chappy with an infectious smile and the life and soul of the party. ‘A real family boy, when his brother died he did everything he could for Darryl’s young daughter. ‘He just couldn’t live without his brother, the pair of them were inseparable. His big brother was like a father figure to him.

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