Page last updated at 13:55 GMT, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 14:55 UK

Teenager found dead 'was bullied'

Cherelle Ardle
A review looking at the circumstances leading up to Cherelle Ardle's death is to be published

An "exceptionally gifted" 13-year-old hanged herself with a school tie after being bullied, an inquest was told.

Cherelle Ardle was found by her stepfather in her bedroom at home in Ton Pentre, Rhondda Cynon Taf.

A police officer said Cherelle had been involved in a "large number of bullying incidents", both as victim and occasionally as an aggressor.

The coroner Phillip Walters said he was convinced it was a "cry for help" and recorded an open verdict.

She had been dragged downstairs and locked in a cupboard and had been taken to hospital on one occasion.
Trudy Robinson, foster carer

The inquest in Miskin heard that Cherelle, a pupil at Treorchy Comprehensive School, went to her bedroom after a row with her mother Deborah about missing money.

The inquest heard she wrote a suicide note on a blank page of a maths exercise book.

Despite efforts to resuscitate Cherelle, she was pronounced dead at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant, that night.

Detective Inspector Nigel Cottle said Cherelle, who had behavioural problems, had been usually the victim of bullying, but occasionally the aggressor.

In a statement to police, her mother spoke of concerns about the bullying and said she felt it "impacted on Cherelle's quality of life".

And a respite foster carer Trudy Robinson, who looked after Cherelle one weekend every month, said: "She was having extreme problems with bullying at school.

"She had been dragged downstairs and locked in a cupboard and had been taken to hospital on one occasion.

"She came to me once a month to have time out from everything. She was a joy to look after and liked to help in everyway she could.

"She had just joined the air cadets and she had told me she wanted to be a pilot which I thought was a fabulous idea."

Investigation

The inquest also heard Cherelle was involved in a relationship with an older man, which the coroner said is subject to an ongoing investigation by South Wales Police.

Mr Walters said: " I'm convinced from Cherelle's note that this was a cry for help and that she did not intend to take her own life.

Our sympathies and heartfelt condolences remain with Cherelle's family
Bethan Guilfoyle, Headteacher at Treorchy Comprehensive School

"Other issues in her life may have exacerbated the situation.

"Young people are often not aware that if you tie a ligature around your neck it takes as little as five seconds to render you unconscious.

"If you go down this road it is final. There is no coming back," he said.

A Rhondda Cynon Taf Council spokesperson said a serious case review is expected to be published in December and it would be inappropriate to comment further.

Bethan Guilfoyle, headteacher at Treorchy Comprehensive added: "Our sympathies and heartfelt condolences remain with Cherelle's family.

"Cherelle continues to be sadly missed by her friends at the school.

"The school now continues to support the police, social services and education and lifelong learning as the review process continues."




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