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Last Updated: Friday, 2 September 2005, 17:33 GMT 18:33 UK
'Happy slap' pupil found hanged
A teenager hanged himself after he was a victim of bullying, including a "happy slapping" incident, an inquest has heard.

Shaun Noonan, 14, from Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, was headbutted, thrown into a ditch, and had an earring pulled out by youths at his school in the town.

One bully attacked Shaun while others filmed the assault on a mobile phone.

On 18 April, his mother found him hanged with a school tie inside his wardrobe.

His parents, Gary and Diane, managed to cut him down and resuscitate him, but his brain had been starved of oxygen for too long and Shaun died in hospital six days later.

Parents request

Dr Janet Napier, deputy coroner for Cheshire, recorded an open verdict, saying there was no evidence that Shaun intended to take his life.

Shaun's parents said they spoke to staff at Sutton High School on several occasions and asked for him to be moved to a different school where he had more friends.

But, the hearing was told that the school authorities refused.

Giving evidence, head teacher Christine Needham said that in October 2004, Shaun reported to the school medical centre after being head butted by another boy.

But she said that after Shaun moved forms he was repeatedly asked if he was happy, and insisted that he was.

In February this year, however, he was again assaulted by a boy in the school.

His father told the inquest that their daughter, 12-year-old Kimberley, said he had been the victim of a 'happy slapping' attack, in which assaults are recorded on mobile phone cameras.



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