Page last updated at 07:48 GMT, Friday, 5 March 2010

Schoolgirl fell to death from bridge after sex claims

A pupil at a Cheltenham private school fell to her death after classmates accused her of sleeping with another girl's brother, an inquest has heard.

Holly Grogan, 15, a pupil at St Edward's School, was challenged about the alleged encounter and advised not to attend a forthcoming party.

The teenager was found beneath the bridge over the A40 at Churchdown the next morning, on 16 September 2009.

Deputy Gloucestershire Coroner David Dooley recorded a verdict of suicide.

Holly's father, Steve Grogan, told the inquest that a group of girls had been making her feel "undermined and uncomfortable" for six months before the accusation was made.

You cannot underestimate how important friendships are when you are 15
Steve Grogan, Holly's father

Mr Dooley said it appeared the girls had "set themselves up as moral arbiter on something when it was nothing to do with them".

Mr Grogan said that Holly had earlier got into difficulties with friends after making up a series of stories.

She claimed her brother had died when, in fact, she had a living brother - 17-year-old Tom.

The inquest heard she also claimed her parents were splitting up when they were not.

'Unpleasant comments'

Dr Andrew Nash, headmaster at the £11,000-a-year school, said Holly had been caused "great upset and embarrassment" once those lies were revealed.

Dr Nash said he had later been told of "unpleasant comments" about Holly which had been placed online and in text messages.

But that was not something the school knew about at the time, he said.

"Facebook is something we worry about because it is so completely outside of our control," he added.

Holly's father told the coroner: "Her whole life revolved around friendship. You cannot underestimate how important friendships are when you are 15.

"The incident on 16 September was more a culmination of six months that Holly had felt undermined and uncomfortable by their actions and attitudes."



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