• Tuesday, June 28, 2022


Science student killed herself with caffeine overdose

A university student killed herself with a caffeine overdose . (Photo by Nicky Loh/Getty Images for World Animal Protection)

By: Keerthi Mohan

AN intelligent university science student killed herself by overdosing on caffeine after using her expertise to learn about its toxic levels, an inquest heard.

Sophia Benning, 24, was battling with depression and she bought the stimulant off eBay. In harrowing messages on Reddit, the Salford University student had indicated she wanted to take her own life.

“I’m tired of putting in this facade. I’m tired of putting on a fake smile when I’m emotionally dying,” one note read.

She was found dead in her university student accommodation on March 19 after consuming three times the fatal level of caffeine.

Her father Jimmy Singh said Sophia had spoken to a mental health nurse for an hour a day before she took her own life. But she had refused to speak about what she had ordered online.

Her father said: “The mental health nurse had said that these sort of things were trivialised – a lot of people buy things but don’t actually do anything with it. They see it as a comfort that it’s there.

“It was never established when it was ordered.

“I asked Sophia if she found the consultation helpful and she said she thought the nurse was hilarious. I just remember thinking that it wasn’t a jokey matter.”

Inquest coroner Alan Walsh recorded a verdict of suicide and said: “I have been a coroner sitting at this court for more than 18 years and this is the first ever death from caffeine toxicity which is a very unusual cause of death.

“Sophia was a very bright and super intelligent young lady with a supportive family who did well on her university course and she had a lot of support from the people in her flat.

“The note she left in her room has a clear indication of intention. I find it extremely sad when somebody on the outside is happy when they are having these thoughts.

“It was her choice she made it clear she didn’t want her family to feel any guilt. She wanted to carry out her intention and she wanted people to respect this as her intention. I am extremely saddened, she was 24, and a super bright, highly educated young lady.”

Eastern Eye

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