‘Bullied’ boy, 14, found hanged in the school toilets by his sister when he failed to turn up to science lesson died as a result of ‘misadventure’, coroner concludes
- Bradley John, from Ammanford, was found gravely ill in his school toilets in 2018
- His sister found him in cubicle at St John Lloyd Catholic Comprehensive School
- Coroner said Bradley ‘no intention to end his life then or at any time in the past’
A teenage boy who was found gravely ill in his school toilets when he failed to show up to a science lesson died as a result of ‘misadventure’, a coroner has concluded.
Bradley John, from Ammanford, was found by his sister in a bathroom cubicle at St John Lloyd Catholic Comprehensive School in Llanelli in September 2018.
Teacher Michael Kent and the school nurse had attempted to save Bradley’s life with the use of a defibrillator, but the Year 10 pupil was declared dead in hospital hours later.
Bradley’s family has long maintained that serious bullying impacted the 14-year-old’s mental state and contributed to his death.
Giving an account of the day of Bradley’s death, his sister claimed the teenager had been the victim of ‘horrific’ bullying and ‘gypsy’ taunts.
Bradley John (above), from Ammanford, was found by his sister in a bathroom cubicle at St John Lloyd Catholic Comprehensive School in Llanelli in September 2018
Teacher Michael Kent and the school nurse had attempted to save Bradley’s life with the use of a defibrillator, but the Year 10 pupil (above) was declared dead in hospital hours later
She added that the toilet block had become her brother’s ‘safe place’ where he would go to call his father, Byron John, when he was upset at school.
An inquest at Llanelli Town Hall today concluded that the evidence showed Bradley had ‘no intention to end his life then or at any time in the past’.
Acting senior coroner Paul Bennett recorded a cause of death of hanging and a short form conclusion of misadventure.
Mr Bennett said he had reviewed CCTV footage from the school on the day Bradley died and that he was ‘happy, enthusiastic, and conscientious’ in his final lesson.
‘There were no signs of depressive behaviour or body language that would be consistent with low mood [on CCTV of Bradley interacting with other pupils at the school],’ he said.
‘None of the three staff [in Bradley’s final lesson] felt Bradley was holding back for any reason, nor that there was or had been any trigger for what had taken place.’
Bradley’s family has long maintained that serious bullying impacted the 14-year-old’s mental state and contributed to his death. Pictured: St John Lloyd School in Llanelli
Byron John, Bradley’s father, and his partner Kate Pickard react after the verdict at the Coroner’s Court in Llanelli, Wales, today
Bradley’s family claim that the final CCTV images of Bradley walking towards the toilet block show him ‘with his head bowed and his sleeves over his hand’, which they said was how he would behave when something had upset him.
The Year 10 pupil had ADHD for which has was taking prescription medication.
The hearing was told that there was no evidence he had not taken his medication on the day he died.
Mr Bennett said: ‘Several members of the family believe that Bradley’s body language changed as he left the classroom.
‘They say they show him to have his head down and his sleeves over his hands.
Byron John’s partner Kate Pickard and family friends hug after the verdict at the Coroner’s Court in Llanelli, Wales, today
‘It is extremely difficult to get a clear image of his body language but there is certainly the appearance of someone who was less animated than how he had been when he arrived at school.’
The coroner said medical evidence showed that Bradley was ‘psychologically and emotionally vulnerable’ due to his ADHD and other experiences in his life including a road traffic collision, his relationship with his mother, and bullying but, despite these issues, he ‘showed no sign of being depressed’.
He added that Bradley’s family had shown ‘fortitude and dignity throughout their grief’ and paid tribute to Mr John, saying he had conducted himself in a way ‘which his son would have been duly proud of and which honoured his memory’.
‘Bradley will be long remembered by everyone who knew him,’ he said.
A cause of death of hanging and a short form conclusion of misadventure were recorded at the inquest hearing.
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