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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 January, 2004, 15:38 GMT
'Bullied' teenager killed himself
Karl Peart
Karl Peart left two notes by his bedside
A Northumberland teenager who killed himself had been bullied at school since the age of four, an inquest has heard.

North Northumberland coroner Ian McCreath was told that 16-year-old Karl Peart suffered constant bullying during his school years.

But the inquest into the teenager's death also heard that letters he left by his bed, mentioned nothing about the bullying problems.

Karl was found in the bedroom of his home in Lynemouth in June 2003 after taking an overdose of painkillers.

After the hearing at Alnwick Magistrates Court, his mother Sonya wept as she read out a note found next to her son's body, in which he apologised for not living up to her expectations.

She has vowed to continue campaigning for the victims of bullying and will set up a web site to help youngsters being subjected to abuse.

Mam, I'm sorry I have done this, I'm not a nice person. I'm sorry I didn't live up to your expectations.
Extract from Karl Peart's suicide note

Mrs Peart told the hearing: "We changed his schools on several occasions, but it didn't seem to get any better, no matter how hard we tried."

Karl was a pupil at Hirst High School in Ashington which was also attended by 15-year-old Gemma Dimmick, who apparently committed suicide soon after Karl.

An inquest into her death will be heard soon.

Head teacher Jed Lee told the inquest Karl had told a member of staff he was being bullied in his home village, and had confided that he only felt safe at school.

But Mr Lee accepted Mrs Peart's assertion that Karl had told her he only felt safe at home.

Mr Lee said Karl confided in an NSPCC counsellor regularly, but that she had left the school some time before he decided to take his own life.

Helping others

Since December 2002, six months before he died, he had not reported any bullying incidents to the school.

The coroner read a report which said Karl took an overdose of pain killers and had drunk one pint of beer.

Mr McCreath recorded a suicide verdict.

After the hearing Mrs Peart read out one of the notes left by her son, which said: "Mam, I'm sorry I have done this, I'm not a nice person. I'm sorry I didn't live up to your expectations.

"I really love you, I'll never leave your side. Tell my friends I will always be there for them."

Mrs Peart maintained bullying was a big factor in Karl's decision, although he had not mentioned it in the notes he left.

She refused to blame the school, but said more should be done for bullying victims.

She said she will keep her son's memory alive by helping others and intends to set up a web site where young people can share their problems.

She said: "It is so somebody doesn't have to suffer what Karl had suffered.

"I don't want people to think they are on their own."





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SEE ALSO:
Esther backs action on bullies
06 Jul 03  |  England
'Bullied' boy may have been raped
23 Jun 03  |  Tyne/Wear
School tribute to 'bullied' pupil
06 Jun 03  |  Tyne/Wear


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