THE family of a Korean undergraduate may never know why he took his own life months after beginning his studies in Durham, an inquest heard.

Jihun Han, known to his friends as Brendan, was found dead at St Chad’s College at Durham University on January 17.

The 19-year-old, who was in his first year of a philosophy, politics and economics degree, had hung himself from his bedroom door, with police finding no evidence to suggest anyone else was involved.

An inquest into Jihun’s death resumed at Crook Coroners’ Court today, where it was heard the teenager had expressed thoughts about suicide to his friends and had looked up ways to take his own life online. One friend, living in New York, raised concerns with Durham University, prompting staff to arrange appointments for Jihun with a counsellor and a GP.

Detective Sergeant Steve Richards, of Durham Police, said he spoke at length with university staff and Jihun’s parents, who flew over from Korea, but could not find a clear cause for his low mood.

His tutors said Jihun had been having some problems with his studies, but nothing unusual for that stage of the course, while no evidence could be found to support his parents’ suggestion of online bullying.

Dr Leslie Hamilton, assistant coroner for County Durham, returned a conclusion of suicide, adding: “We don’t know why and we may never why. I am sure that is a question his parents will ask themselves forever.”

To talk to the Samaritans for help on any issue, call 08457-909090 or email