School was warned about 'extreme bullying' days before 14-year-old boy killed self by jumping in front of oncoming train
14-year-old Sam Connor, who was allegedly "bullied" at his school, killed himself after laying down on train tracks at Chertsey station, Surrey, England on Monday, 15 July.
The Salesian School has denied the bullying angle and hinted that the tragedy is nothing but a "prank gone wrong."
However, a father and commuter who used the station said he previously wrote to Salesian School to report bullying by its pupils.
The father, who did not want to be named, said he saw a boy being hit over the head with a bottle and witnessed a gang of lads question a 12-year-old girl about her sexuality at the station.
He decided to speak out after hearing about Connor's death and told Mirror, "There was a clearly of culture of bullying at the school going on at the time but to them, it appears the responsibility ends at the school gates."
Conner, who killed himself in front of his classmates, has left a note, understood to be a suicide letter, containing the password to unlock his phone, according to reports.
The boy was allegedly "bullied online" by trolls before he decided to end his life on Monday afternoon, The Sun reports.
"There were just a couple of names and the code to his phone," one of Conner's relative was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. "He was a smart kid, you know. I think if anything went wrong he's put it in his phone and said, there you go. He handed the phone over and the password and also a couple of names, when he handed it to his friend. It doesn't bear thinking about."
While devastated relatives and well-wishers are at a loss to understand Sam's horrific death many are trying to understand the gravity of the alleged bullying that led him to kill himself.
However, a source told the Sun that Sam might have gotten on the tracks as a prank, especially after he was seen "joking and laughing" just moments before the tragic incident.
"His friends are saying that this was a prank which went horribly, horribly wrong," the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Sun.
"He was seen laughing and joking with his mates on the platform before what happened. His friends who were with him at the time don’t believe that this was the outcome he necessarily wanted or intended to happen. A lot more will come out at the inquest I’m sure.”
Meanwhile, British Transport Police issued a statement on Thursday saying Sam's death "may have been a deliberate act."
"First and foremost, I would like to express my deepest sorrow for the family of Sam Connor," Detective Inspector Darren Gough said. "On Monday their lives were shattered by the dreadful news that he had died in truly tragic circumstances. This is an ongoing investigation, however, our initial inquiries suggest that tragically, this may have been a deliberate act. Of course, our investigation is ongoing and we will provide our evidence to HM Coroner as part of an inquest into Sam’s death."
Deborah Barrett, the first wife of Sam's father, James, mourned his death and told the Daily Mail: "It's horrible. You can't imagine, can you? I've just spoken to my middle one and she said he just lay down on the tracks." "He was a sensitive little soul, a cute little thing who was into gaming. He was funny and sarcastic with a great sense of humor."
"This is so horrible for the family. They loved him, they were all quite close," Barrett continued. "...My girls have said there was stuff said online about Sam. Lots of children are bullied but this must have been horrendous. If Sam was being bullied at school, then why weren't the school doing anything?"
One of Sam's friends also claimed he would often sit on his own in the playground at break time after being bullied regularly.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, you are urged to immediately contact the following organizations for support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123