A teenager who died after accidentally hanging himself with his shoe laces while playing in his bedroom may have been pretending to be Spiderman when the tragedy occurred, neighbours claimed today.
Lee Warren, 13, was found by his horrified mother hanging from his bunk bed at his home on February 10, last year.
He was rushed to hospital but sadly died later that night.
An inquest heard the teen had a habit of playing with his shoe laces – putting his arms and legs through them.
And neighbours of the heartbroken family told yesterday how he would often pretend to be his favourite superhero Spiderman.
Birmingham’s assistant deputy coroner Sarah Ormond-Walshe said Lee had been playing by himself when he got tangled in his laces.
Recording a verdict of accidental death on Friday, Ms Ormond-Walshe said: “This is the tragic death of a 13-year-old boy.
“I agree, having heard the evidence, that he was not anything other than a happy child on the day he died.
“There is no evidence to say he intended to take his own life.
“He appears to have been playing when he accidentally caused his own death by hanging.”
Neighbours of the family in Dalton Road, Kingshurst, Birmingham, said Lee was known for being a big Spiderman fan.
One, who did not wish to be named, said: “He was a chirpy little boy but was in a world of his own a lot of the time.
“He used to pretend to be Spiderman apparently, and getting tangled in his laces was his way of getting caught in a web. He was just playing like any innocent young boy would.
“It’s a freak tragedy. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.”
While another local resident, Deborah Jones, 50, added: “We knew the family to say hello too and Lee was a really smiley happy boy.
“He was known to be a bit immature for his age – but he was a sweet little boy and his death devastated everybody around here at the time.”
Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said “likeable” Lee seemed carefree and enjoyed playing football in the street.
She added: “He came from a very nice, well-mannered family and it’s very sad.”
The inquest also heard there was no suggestion Lee had mental health problems or was under the influence of any substance.
West Midlands Police Detective Inspector Michael Spellman told the hearing that no notes had been found and said Lee’s mum and step-father had described him as a “generally happy boy“.
He added there was no sign of a disturbance and there were no suspicious circumstances.
Speaking after his death last year, the teen’s devastated dad Derek, who lives in Tamworth, Staffs., said: “I love Lee and I’m never going to forget him.”
Jennifer McGuirk principal at John Henry Catholic College – where Lee was a Year 8 pupil – also paid tribute at the time.
She said: “Lee wore a smile that was infectious to others.
“He was always happy and spoke with enthusiasm for learning. He was considerate and protective of others.
“He showed his zest of for life in all that he did in our school and will be much missed by all of us.
“As a community we have joined together to express our deepest sorrow and most sincere condolences for Lee’s family and all his closest friends.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who loved Lee and everyone he loved.”
Verdict: accidental death.