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Father releases harrowing photos of his teenage daughter, 16, minutes before she died after she hanged herself to end her online bullying torment

Mar 13, 2017, 10:19:33
By Daily Mail
Published March 9,2017

A brave father has shared heartbreaking photos of his daughter lying in a hospital bed just minutes before she died in a bid to end online bullying.

Julia Derbyshire died aged 16 in October 2015, five days after attempting to take her own life by hanging.

Her father Adrian Derbyshire, 42, found the teenager collapsed at his home in Warrington, Cheshire, and rushed her to hospital before being forced to make the agonising decision to turn off her life support.

To mark what would have been her 18th birthday, the two-time Paralympic gold medal winner and anti-bullying campaigner decided to share the heartbreaking photos of Julia lying in hospital to highlight the consequences of online bullying.

Mr Derbyshire said has been unable to look at the photos in the 17 months since Julia passed away but decided to share them online in a bid to boost the anti-online bullying campaign he set up in her honour, SASSY (Support Against Self-harm And Suicide in Youth).

Mr Derbyshire said: 'Releasing these photos was one of the hardest things I have had to do in my life.

I took the photos in the minutes before Julia's death and buried them on my phone until know because I didn't want to look at them and I still don't.'But I knew that I was going to them, obviously to help raise awareness, because I think that the cause is too vital to not use them.

The 16-year-old, pictured, was visiting websites that 'promoted self-harm and suicide', according to her father'Instead of taking her out for champagne to celebrate her 18th birthday, I was placing flowers on her grave.'

Julia was born in the UK before making the move to the US aged four, but she moved back to Warrington ten years later after suffering problems with online bullying and self-harm.Mr Derbyshire began to incorporate the youngster into his Inspire Belief Succeed campaign that works with children to help them prosper through sport.

But he unaware his daughter was still being targeted for online abuse and was visiting web groups that promoted teenage self-harm and suicide under a false identity.Mr Derbyshire frantically fought to save his daughter's life after finding her, giving her CPR before rushing her to hospital.

Coroners record a narrative verdict at the inquest into Julia's death.

Mr Derbyshire himself recovered from a near-fatal brain haemorrhage in 2008 that confined him to a wheelchair before he took up wheelchair fencing and won two golds and three silvers with Team GB.

But he said seeing the photos of his stricken daughter for the first time was one of the greatest trials he has faced in his life.

Mr Derbyshire said: 'Seeing the photos raised emotions back to that time and made me feel physically sick.

But if it can help a parent or a family not to go through what I have been through then that is what the campaign is all about.

'The response has been very overwhelming - I have had messages from families who have lost their teenagers and children and they have thanked for releasing the photos.

'It also shows just how desperate the issue is and how need the campaigns that I do are.'