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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 December, 2003, 17:41 GMT
Accidental hanging after argument
An 11-year-old boy who accidentally hanged himself may have been trying to frighten his parents after being told off, an inquest heard.

Birmingham and Solihull Coroner Aidan Cotter said he could not believe Tom Keavy had actually intended to take his own life.

The coroner was told at Wednesday's hearing that the youngster had died from asphyxiation after attaching two school ties to the shower and kneeling forward at his home in Dorridge, Solihull, on 30 April.

He was taken to Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham, but doctors were unable to save him.

'Childish argument'

Before recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Cotter told Tom's family: "I do not for one moment believe that an 11-year-old boy who had been told off in a childish argument would then deliberately hang himself, intending to die.

"Whether what he deliberately intended to do was to frighten the person who had told him off, or whether he was experimenting or fooling around, we are never going to know."

Mr Cotter said an increasing number of fatal hangings were happening where the victim was kneeling down, possibly with no intention of taking his or her life.

"I think people need to be told you do not put anything around your neck because if you do, you could die," he added.

Outside court, a statement issued on behalf of the schoolboy's family read: "Tom's family and friends are devastated by his untimely death.

"Tom was a joy and a treasure and will be hugely missed."

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