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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 October, 2004, 14:30 GMT 15:30 UK
Bullying 'factor' in boy's suicide
Cantonian High School
Jamie attended Cantonian High School in Fairwater
A schoolboy hanged himself five days before his 18th birthday after being taunted by bullies, an inquest heard.

Jamie Sell, 17, a pupil at Cantonian High School in Fairwater, Cardiff, endured "torment" on the day he killed himself, the hearing was told.

Jamie's mother, Denise, said she did not find out about the bullying until after his suicide.

Coroner Ian Edwards said he did not think the bullying was the main reason why the teenager had killed himself but said "it didn't help".

The hearing was told the teenager was attacked in the street on the day that he died by bullies who threw stones and sticks at him.

I used to think he would tell me anything - he always made out that nothing bothered him but obviously it did
Jamie Sell's mother, Denise

Police investigations revealed that he had been afraid to say anything to friends and family.

Kimberly Matthews, a 17-year-old student, told the coroner: "As Jamie was walking down the road he looked at one of the kids and they said 'what are you looking at?"'

"Jamie said nothing, they just started throwing stones and sticks and cans, whatever they could find."

Sticks and stones

"About three of them had been giving him a hard time. They were just really nasty people generally. They used to spit at me in the street."

Pc Steve Simmonds, investigated the death in September last year, said: "Jamie was suffering a form of bullying. People are silent about being bullied.

"They are afraid to speak out."

I hope those persons who contributed to his turmoil take stock
Coroner Ian Edwards

Jamie's mother told the hearing that she returned to their home in the Llandaff area of the city to find her son.

She said: "I used to think he would tell me anything. I knew he had problems at school and he had got behind with his A-levels, but I thought he had sorted it out.

"He seemed so laid back. He always made out that nothing bothered him but obviously it did."

Failed exams

The inquest heard that the teenager had also fallen behind in his school work and failed some exams.

He had written, but not sent, a letter to teachers pleading for a second chance.

Coroner Ian Edwards said: "What had been going on was the normal trials and tribulations teenagers suffer today.

"Perhaps they don't have an opportunity to think tomorrow will be better. There was some suggestion that Jamie was bullied and I'm sure he was.

"I think it was more verbal than physical although things had been thrown at him.

"I don't think this was the main reason why Jamie took his life but it didn't help.

Laura Rhodes
Laura Rhodes said she was bullied about being overweight

"I hope those persons who contributed to his turmoil take stock and question whether they had any influence on Jamie's fateful decision."

The case has come a month after the controversy following the death of 13-year-old Laura Rhodes, from Neath.

Laura died of a suspected drugs overdose in an apparent suicide pact with a friend, 14-year-old Rebecca Ling, who survived.

After her funeral, Laura's family released a letter she had written describing how she had been bullied and was deeply unhappy.




SEE ALSO:
Pupils deny school bullying claim
29 Sep 04  |  South West Wales
'Suicide' survivor was expelled
13 Sep 04  |  South West Wales


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