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Last Updated: Friday, 3 June, 2005, 05:53 GMT 06:53 UK
Suicide girl's parents 'will sue'
Laura Rhodes
Laura Rhodes killed herself with an overdose of tablets
The parents of a teenager who killed herself after entering into a suicide pact with another girl say they intend suing their daughter's former school.

Laura Rhodes, 13, from Neath, south Wales, committed suicide last year.

Her parents believe she was unhappy at bullying about her weight and sexuality at Cefn Saeson School.

An inquest ruled the school did all it could to help Laura. The school and the local authority said that they were satisfied with the coroner's findings.

Laura died last September after taking an overdose of painkillers with a 14-year-old friend from Birmingham. Her friend - who cannot be named for legal reasons - survived.

The inquest into Laura's death heard that the two girls had met over the internet and formed a close relationship, going on holiday together to Crete with Laura's family.

Laura's father Michael Rhodes
Mike Rhodes says they can try to prevent this happening to another child

But on their return to the UK, ran away together to Bath.

Neath Port Talbot coroner David Osborne said that the situation at the school had not been the main cause of the suicide pact between the girls.

The inquest heard that Laura had suffered name-calling about her weight and sexuality during her time at Cefn Saeson, from September 2002 to July 2003.

She left the school a year before taking her own life. The inquest concluded that, whilst bullying at the school had made her unhappy, it was not to blame for her death.

The inquest heard Cefn Saeson had done all it could to help Laura, bringing in experts to help.

But Laura's parents Mike and Yvonne Rhodes still believe the bullying was a factor and said they were taking legal action in a stand against bullying.

Cefn Saeson
Laura attended Cefn Saeson School for one academic year

"We want to prevent it happening to any other children - that's the main thing now," Mr Rhodes told BBC Wales.

"It's too late for Laura. We can't have true justice, can we? We can't have Laura back. But maybe we can prevent it happening to some other child."

In a joint statement the local education authority and the school said Laura's death was a "tragedy" and offered their sympathies to her family.

The statement said: "The appropriate place for the circumstances surrounding Laura's unfortunate death to be decided upon was at the coroner's inquest, where all the necessary evidence and documents were presented.

"The coroner, therefore, was in the best position to reach a decision.

"We are satisfied by the coroner's findings that name-calling was not the cause of Laura's death."




SEE ALSO:
Schoolgirl overdose was suicide
13 May 05 |  South West Wales
Girl's overdose after 'bullying'
12 May 05 |  South West Wales


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