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Boy 'driven to suicide by bullies'

Feb 13, 2017, 11:34:28
By JAMES TOZER, Daily Mail

A distraught mother has claimed that her 11-year-old son was driven to suicide by bullies at his school.

Thomas Thompson took an overdose of painkillers after other pupils picked on him because he was clever and well-spoken, she said.

Sandra Thompson found her son in his bedroom when she returned home from work in the evening.

Her partner, Geoff Clarke, tried to resuscitate the youngster while paramedics were called, but he had suffered a fatal heart attack.

Thomas is believed to be the youngest child to take his own life because of alleged bullying.

Coming so soon after similar cases, his death will add fuel to the debate over what to do about the bullying problem.

Miss Thompson, a shop assistant, said her son's ordeal began at Riverside Primary School near their home in Wallasey, Wirral, Merseyside.

It was thought the situation might have eased last September when he started his secondary education at Wallasey School in nearby Moreton, but the bullying continued.

His 33-year-old mother, who also has an eight-year-old daughter, Alexandra, said: "He told me how they got at him every day - trying to strangle him with his tie, poking him.

"It was like torture. They'd call him names like 'gay boy' and 'fatso'. He didn't really fit in with other boys his age.

"He was extremely clever and loved reading and doing his schoolwork. So they teased and tormented him relentlessly - just because he was a bit different. These bullies killed my son."
Thomas frequently missed classes.

On the day of his death, he had got off the school bus to escape the bullies. Miss Thompson said she had spoken to Thomas's teachers, but the school claimed the only reported incident had been at a bus stop and involved children from another school.

Wallasey School headmaster Martin Pope said: "There is absolutely no record of the child reporting bullying within the school. We saw no evidence of Thomas being treated differently by other pupils."

Describing him as an "extremely intelligent boy", he added: "The whole school has been deeply shocked and saddened by Thomas's death."

Wirral Council said the school's commitment to eradicating bullying is widely admired and this made Thomas's death particularly sad.

But Dr Michele Elliott, director of child protection group Kidscape, said: "Thomas's death is a terrible waste of a life. At 11 years old, he should have been living a carefree life and looking forward to the summer holidays.

"The bullies apparently responsible for his death, and anyone who stood by and watched it happen passively, should be punished."

Last month 16-year-old Karl Peart took an overdose of painkillers after suffering what his family called a lifetime of bullying.

Two weeks later, Gemma Dimmick, a 15-year-old at the same school - Hirst High, in Ashington, Northumberland - also committed suicide. Relatives claimed she too had been bullied.

Also last month, nine-year-old Jessica O'Connell's parents revealed the diary she kept of her suffering at St Wilfred Roman Catholic School in Ripon, North Yorkshire, as she was driven to the brink of suicide by bullies.