A twelve-year-old boy who was so popular he was nicknamed ”little Superman” hanged himself after his mum confiscated his mobile phone, an inquest heard today.
Cain Rhys Westcarr had spent two days rowing with his mother Veronica Lee about the use of his handset, it was said.
He told her he was going upstairs to listen to music but instead put a red shoelace around his neck and hanged himself from the side of his bunkbed.
Tragic Cain was found suspended from the top bunk by his horrified brother 40 minutes later.
Paramedics rushed to the family home in Tuffley, Glos. and took Cain to hospital where he was declared dead later the same day.
A coroner yesterday said Cain probably did not realise the consequences of his actions and may have intended it as ”a cry for help” or act of defiance.
His mother wept as she told the inquest: “I don’t think Cain wanted to kill himself.
“I think he wanted to live, I don’t think he wanted to die.”
Gloucestershire Coroners Court heard how Cain – brother to six siblings – spent two days rowing with his mum over his phone use.
It ended with her taking it off him one day last June and she last saw him alive as he went to his room around lunchtime.
Detective Sergeant Mark Steinhouse said he checked the youngster’s phone and found nothing of significance on it.
He said: “Officers in the hospital spoke to Veronica and they relayed back to me where his mobile phone was.
“We recovered the phone and had it examined but didn’t find anything on there of any significance.”
He added that there were no suspicious circumstances regarding Cain’s death or signs of third party involvement.
The inquest heard that Cain had behavioural difficulties and had previously been a pupil at St. Paul’s Primary School for three years.
Family support worker Jackie Geaches said: “He came across as one of the lads but actually he was a very shy boy and worked very hard to try to fit in.
“He was quite often in trouble at school but usually for defending someone else.”
She described Cain as a “caring boy” who had put a lace around his neck in Year Four – but said professionals found no sign of mental illness.
Mrs Geaches said she did not believe Cain, who attended Beaufort Community School, had intended to take his own life.
She added: “For one moment I don’t believe Cain wanted to take his life.
“I think he wanted to inflict pain on himself, he wanted to see how much pain he could stand and unfortunately it ended in his death.”
In a statement to the coroner his school said Cain was a “popular student”.
It read: “Cain was a well respected pupil in his tutor group.
“Cain was an avid reader and would always remember his book for silent reading.
“He could articulate his thoughts and points well.”
Tom Osborne (corr) assistant deputy coroner for Gloucestershire, said he did not think Cain understood that “if you are dead today, you are dead tomorrow”.
He said: “Perhaps he thought it is like a reboot computer, coming back to life.
“I don’t know. He obviously wanted to inflict pain on himself or his mum, an ‘I’ll show you’ attitude.
“He was a young man with attitude, nothing wrong with that.
“Mum had taken his phone away for him to tidy his room or do something he needed to do.
“I think when one considers the matter of this young man, the difficulties he had, I think it is more likely than not this is a cry for help or a cry to his mum, or to scare people and it led to his death.”
Cain’s family were too distraught to comment after the inquest.
Verdict: Accidental Death