Simon Walters
Someone Being Bullied
Male | Wolverhampton, England   United Kingdom
Boy bullied for ginger hair found hanged in his bedroom by his father
Bullying Type: Emotional
Posted By: GroundBreaker
11/14/13 10:57 PM
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A 14-year-old boy who dyed his hair brown in an effort to stop bullies attacking him for being ginger was found hanged by his father, an inquest has heard.

Simon Walters - who was a pupil at Heath Park School in Wolverhampton, West Midlands - was discovered dead in his bedroom by his 42-year-old father Nigel, with whom he lived alone.

Mr Walters last saw his son alive before leaving for work at 8pm, and said he would always text him during a shift to say he loved him - but on that night he was too busy and never sent the message.

Speaking at the hearing at Smethwick Council House yesterday, Mr Walters described the moment he found his son dead after returning home from a night shift at 4.15am on a day in October last year.

Mr Walters said: ‘Simon’s music was blaring and his lights were still on so I went upstairs to tell him to go to bed. He was hanging. I just ran downstairs screaming - I could not believe it. I was in shock.’

The warehouse worker told the inquest that Simon was also physically attacked by his tormenters and had confronted the school about the abuse, which had been going on for over five months.

He said: ‘In May last year I noticed a lump on his head. When I confronted him about it he said a boy at school hit him.

'On another occasion when I called Simon to tell him I would pick him up from school I heard children calling him names in the background.

‘The phone call was really bad, lots of children were calling him names and shouting swear words. I discussed the matter with the school and was told there was a zero tolerance policy towards bullying.

Mr Walters said he was reassured the matter would be resolved but the next day Simon begged his father to go to school with him.

He added: ‘He said “Father can you come to school with me?” He was terrified, he was shaking, he was crying. I asked if everything was okay afterwards and he said it was sorted.

‘He was very withdrawn towards the end. It actually got me very upset and I would cry in front of him asking him: “What is wrong - I know you have changed?” He used to be a jolly lad, he enjoyed telling jokes, he was a pleasant little boy and was well behaved.

‘I was really concerned, he just used to always speak to me but then he stopped talking to me, he used to shut himself in his room. My own conclusion was that he was being threatened not to say anything.’

Simon’s grandmother Joan Walters also believed the teenager was being bullied and said she had been in touch with some of his friends on Facebook since his death.

Giving evidence, she said: ‘They have said he was being bullied because he wouldn’t conform to what they wanted him to do.’

A police investigation also found Simon had been teased because of his ginger hair and had researched how to commit suicide on the internet.

But Detective Inspector Richard Scott, from West Midlands Police, said there was not enough evidence that he had been bullied by his peers.

He said: ‘His school friends have told us there was teasing because he had red hair. That was what one of his friends said - that there was teasing because he had dyed his hair.’

Heath Park School headteacher Georgetta Holloway also told the hearing there was no evidence of bullying at the school.

She said: ‘No one had seen a change, nothing was reported to his friends other than the incident in May described. He was a popular young man but very much a young man, he was a joker. He had a wide circle of friends.’

Recording a verdict of suicide, Black Country Coroner Robin Balmain said: ‘The only positive motive that comes to light is bullying. However, I have to say there is no clear evidence.

‘The police have carried out a clear investigation and we have heard evidence from Mrs Holloway.

‘Perhaps most importantly the police have been able to read his Facebook record and there is nothing that suggests he was being bullied. This is a tragedy for the family and also for Simon’s friends.’

Following the verdict, Mrs Holloway told MailOnline: ‘Over a year on the school community still feels the loss, the grief and the shock, from the tragic passing of Simon.

‘Simon was many things to many people. For some he was a quiet unassuming young man, to some of his class mates he was the one they could confide in, to others he was the one with the wicked sense of humour and infectious laugh.

‘To his closest friends however, those with whom he shared his interests, his musical tastes and manga obsession, he was himself - their best friend and confidante. Our thoughts are always with Simon’s family and his friends - he is greatly missed.’

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Story Details

Name: Simon Walters
Age: N/A
Country: United Kingdom
Location: Wolverhampton, England
Gender: Male
Zodiac Sign: N/A
Maiden Name: N/A
Relationship Status: N/A
Profession: Other
Education level: N/A
University: N/A
Ethnicity: N/A
Hair Color: N/A
Eye Color: N/A
Height: N/A
Weight: N/A
Tattoos: No

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