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If it has done nothing else for humanity, email has given us another medium to write suicide notes in. An effective method of communication, albeit a less dramatic medium than a letter scrawled in one's own blood.

This lessening of drama did not deter jilted teenager Philip Dowden from announcing his intentions to his ex-fiancée in an email.

The 16 year old sent a message saying it would be "unthinkably unbearable" to go on after the relationship ended. He then took a double-barrelled shotgun and shot himself in the head, dying instantly.

His ex did not receive the email until he had died, and said in a statement that he had threatened suicide when they had split up on a previous occasion.

The Sun reports that the suicidal sixteen year-old had spoken to a female friend shortly before he killed himself. She said: "He said that if they were apart for seven days he would kill himself. He said that he would use a gun and even that he would take it into school."

An inquest ruled that his death was suicide. ®

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