A coroner has ruled that the death of an Ammanford boy who was found by his sister in his school toilets was caused by "misadventure" rather than "bullying" at school.
Bradley John, a Year 10 pupil at St. John Lloyd Catholic Comprehensive School in Llanelli, was found hanging in a bathroom cubicle after he failed to show up to a science lesson in September 2018. Teacher Michael Kent and the school nurse tried to save his life with the use of a defibrillator, but he was declared dead in hospital hours later.
His sister claimed that the 14-year-old had been the victim of "horrific" bullying and "gypsy" taunts at the school, and the toilet block had become his "safe space" where he would go to call his father when he was upset. His family has long maintained that the constant bullying impacted his mental state and contributed to his death.
However, an inquest at Llanelli Town Hall in Wales on Monday concluded that though it is clear that Bradley did take steps to suspend himself, there is no evidence to suggest that the teenager had any "intention to end his life then or at any time in the past." Acting senior coroner Paul Bennett ruled "death of hanging and a short form conclusion of misadventure" as the cause of the death, reports Mail Online.
"This was clearly an intentional act on Bradley's part, but one that went wrong," he said.
In the report, Bennett cites CCTV footage from the school on the day of the incident which showed Bradley "happy, enthusiastic, and conscientious" in his final lesson. The coroner says that the teen displayed "no signs of depressive behaviour or body language that would be consistent with low mood."
Meanwhile, Bradley's parents Byron John and Kate Pickard were seen in tears after the verdict at the Coroner's Court. They have repeatedly argued that the final CCTV images of their son walking towards the toilet block shows him "with his head bowed and his sleeves over his hand" indicating that he was upset.
However, the coroner said about the objection, "It is extremely difficult to get a clear image of his body language but there is certainly the appearance of someone who was less animated than how he had been when he arrived at school." He added that most incidents of the alleged bullying appeared to have been of a "relatively minor nature" and did not give the "impression that these incidents gave cogent proof of systematic bullying of Bradley."
The coroner also noted that medical evidence suggests Bradley was "psychologically and emotionally vulnerable" due to his ADHD and other experiences in his life and it is not clear if he took his medicines on the day of his death.