Suffolk

Matthew Wooby, 12, found dead after being bullied

Matthew Wooby Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Matthew Wooby had been bullied at school, the inquest into his death heard

A "kind, loving, and funny" 12-year-old boy was found dead after being bullied at school, an inquest heard.

Matthew Wooby, from Trimley St Martin, was discovered in February by his parents with a ligature round his neck.

His father David Wooby told the inquest he believed his son had been in a "spiral" of depression and had purposely taken his own life.

But assistant coroner Nigel Parsley described it as a "truly tragic" case and recorded a verdict of misadventure.

He said he was unable to record a verdict of suicide as it was not clear Matthew, who was mildly autistic, knew he could die as a result of his actions.

Matthew's school, Felixstowe Academy, said there was one reported incident of bullying which was "dealt with swiftly" in line with its policies.

The inquest heard Matthew's parents had left him with babysitters on the night of 12 February, who had looked after him many times before.

'So depressed'

They watched a film and he went to bed, asking if he was all right after they heard him shuffling around upstairs.

But next morning when his mother went to wake him, he was found unresponsive and was taken to hospital.

A week earlier, Matthew had watched a film that featured a scene with a child who had been saved after attempting to hang himself, the hearing was told.

Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful, and a post-mortem test revealed the cause of death was recorded as suspension by ligature.

Mr Parsley said Matthew came from a "loving, close" family and attended Felixstowe Academy where there had been "bullying issues".

He said he was aware Matthew had been bullied at school but he was also aware that he may have reacted to the film he saw.

Mr Wooby told the hearing: "It's my personal conclusion that he was so unhappy because he was being bullied...and he went into a spiral of depression which I didn't notice at the time.

"And I think he took his own life on purpose because he was so depressed."

A statement from Matthew's parents, issued after the inquest, said: "We are devastated and heartbroken at the loss of our kind, loving, funny, beautiful and amazing son Matthew.

"We hope that by raising awareness of bullying that no other family will have to suffer what we have to cope with every day."

Felixstowe Academy's principal, Anthony Williams, said Matthew was a "lovely student" whose "sudden death was an unforeseen loss to the school community".

He said he had been in contact with the family and commended them for their remarkable courage and dignity.

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