Archie Battersbee: 'No evidence' 12-year-old took part in TikTok blackout challenge as claimed by his mom

Hollie Dance believes her son was taking part in a lethal online challenge when she found him unconscious with a ligature around his neck

Archie Battersbee: 'No evidence' 12-year-old took part in TikTok blackout challenge as claimed by his mom
Coroner says ‘no evidence’ Archie Battersbee took part in 'blackout challenge' as claimed by his mom Hollie Dance (teechbiz/Instagram and Carl Court/Getty Images)
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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: The coroner overseeing the inquest into Archie Battersbee's tragic death has said he has seen ‘no evidence’ suggesting that the 12-year-old boy took part in a life-threatening online blackout challenge on the day he suffered a catastrophic brain injury.

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Archie died on August 6, when his life support was withdrawn after the court agreed to medical experts’ claims that stopping treatment was in Archie's best interest. The court heard that Archie was found in an unconscious state at his home in Southend, Essex on April 7. His mother Hollie Dance believe he was taking part in a lethal online blackout challenge when she found him unconscious with a ligature around.

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But officials have still not found any evidence to back Hollie’s claim. Essex's senior coroner Lincoln Brookes, presiding over a pre-inquest review hearing in Chelmsford on Tuesday, said there was 'no evidence at this stage to substantiate the concern'. He also heard that Essex Police had recovered messages on Archie’s phone reflecting a “very low mood”.

Credits: Archie Battersbee (L) poses wearing a bowtie and Archie Battersbee tries to survive with the help of life support (R) (teechbiz and rbyaradio/instagram)
Credits: Archie Battersbee (L) poses wearing a bowtie and Archie Battersbee tries to survive with the help of life support (R) (teechbiz and rbyaradio/instagram)

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During the hearing, detective inspector Sarah Weeks said Hollie had been "concerned there was an online challenge going round and other young people could be at risk." Weeks said Hollie gave her consent to download information from Archie’s phone, which was seized by officials as evidence on April 7. "There are no photographs or videos on the download that suggest Archie was taking part in any online challenge." Weeks said, "There's no evidence of Archie filming any videos on the day of the incident."

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She also revealed that Archie had TikTok installed on his phone and was accessing the app on the day of his accident. But there is no evidence backing the claims that he was taking part in the blackout challenge. "There are a series of messages which reflect Archie's mood. This has only been received this morning so we will look to prepare a full report," Weeks added.

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After closely looking at the report presented by the detective inspector, Brookes, said, "It's low mood we're looking at here, very low mood." He added, "There's no evidence at this stage to substantiate the concern, the fear of Miss Dance, about the choking challenge or the blackout challenge, whether on TikTok or frankly on any other platform or provider."

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Hollie Dance (C-L) and Paul Battersbee (C-R), the mother and father of Archie Battersbee, speak to the media as they leave the Royal Courts of Justice after winning an appeal for his case to be heard again, on June 29, 2022 in London, England. The Court of Appeal has heard a plea by the family of 12-year-old Archie Battersbee to overturn a previous court ruling that he is dead and his life support system should be removed. His parents Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee have appealed the ruling, saying his heart is still beating and they want treatment to continue.
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 29: Hollie Dance (C-L) and Paul Battersbee (C-R), the mother and father of Archie Battersbee, speak to the media as they leave the Royal Courts of Justice after winning an appeal for his case to be heard again, on June 29, 2022 in London, England.(Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

The court also heard Dance’s concerns about Archie being taken to Southend hospital initially instead of directly to the Royal London hospital, which is a neurological center.

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A full inquest into the tragic death of the young boy is slated to take place on February 7, 2023. Till then the investigators will again critically examine Archie’s phone and his Mac and Xbox, which were also taken from his home. The coroner has asked the officers to present a report based on the information collected from Archie’s electronic devices before December 16.

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Speaking about reviews made by the court, Steven Horsley, from Simpson Millar solicitors, who is representing Hollie, said, “Archie was using TikTok on the day of his injury, although we many never know what he was looking at. The police have yet to look at his two other devices but have been told to do by the court,” according to the Guardian.

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