A YOUNG schoolgirl and hockey star who thought she did not fit in with her classmates took her own life on the family farm.

Ellie Phillips, 13, is believed to have struggled with her own self-image and friendship issues and even researched online how to kill herself and made notes about her own funeral.

An inquest heard that Ellie was not happy at Shebbear College, an independent school in Devon and wanted to move elsewhere.

Her stepfather Stuart Ley said: “She was a glass half-empty person; not naughty but argumentative.”

He added that she was guarded and would not confide in him as he “wasn’t her real dad”.

Stephen said the Ellie did not have many friends and was “socially isolated”.

However Ellie was one of the school’s top hockey players and captained the side to its best result in a tournament just the day before her death.

She had also represented Cornwall at hockey.

Her mother Michelle Phillips told the coroner Ellie was “thoughtful, considerate and kept her cards close to her chest”.

But she added they were also quite alike as both she and her daughter were “quite argumentative and always wanted the last word.”

Michelle said that during the last summer holidays Ellie was blanked by three school friends when she saw them on a shopping trip.

On the day she killed herself Ellie talked about people she did not like before going to a pond area to do some homework at their dairy farm in Sutcombe, North Devon.

She played loud music before hanging herself from a tree.

Ellie was found by her mum who tried to resuscitate her but she died in North Devon hospital.

Her GP said she had no mental health issues.

A post-mortem had discovered some evidence of self-harming.

Det Con Emma Baker said there were two notes on Ellie's mobile which were dated May and September 2017 where she was “considering the end”.

Ellie’s English teacher Frances Lovett described her as “a bright and bubbly character” who had petty squabbles and falling-outs with other but “nothing out of the ordinary”.

Philip Spinney, senior coroner for Exeter and Devon, recorded a narrative verdict.

He said: "It is plain from the evidence that I've heard that Ellie suffered with her mental health and struggled with her self-image and had self-harmed in the past.

"She had experienced thoughts of ending her life at various times.

"What made her go to the pond on October 7 and end her life is not clear."

He said there had been no attempt to hide where she was going and he could not be certain she wanted to take her own life but she died as a consequence of her own actions.