Castleford: Bullied teen hangs himself

A bullied Castleford teenager was found hanged at his home with lyrics from a hardcore rock song scrawled on his arm.

Tragic Dean Booth, 18, was found by his horrified mum hanging from a loft hatch. He had placed a computer cord around his neck.

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From the age of 15 he was tormented by school bullies and developed depression and anger management issues.

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Speaking at an inquest into his death, grieving mum Margaret said she believed this was a cry for help and he had not intended to kill himself.

The trainee auctioneer, from Castleford had written the words 'Bestrafe Mich' - German for 'Punish Me' on his arms - lyrics from German rock band Rammstein.

The hearing at Wakefield Coroner's Court on Wednesday heard he had tried to hang himself on several previous occasions, and even tried to hurl himself in front of cars to escape his tormentors.

Margaret's statement read: "Since earlier this year, he had started scratching his arm, causing superficial marks. About a week before he died he injured his arm with a nail gun. I couldn't say whether this was intentional or an accident.

"This was a cry for help rather than intending to take his own life."

She added he had been singled out by bullies at Castleford High School. On September 15, they had visited a takeaway before going to bed at 11.30pm. She found him hanging at 6.30am the next morning.

Dean was receiving psychiatric help and was taking anti-depressants. He had also become further depressed after a friend of his, a landlord at a local pub whom he confided in, had hung himself last November.

A post-mortem examination found he had 121mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, which would have had a "significant effect on his moodset and cognitive skills".

Recording an open verdict, Coroner Mary Burke said: "His past attempts to harm himself had always followed the use of alcohol. In May there was an incident when he had been out drinking and tried to jump in front of cars.

"His response when asked why he had done this is that he had no memory of doing it. So at the time, and subsequently, he didn't realise what he was doing.

"Clearly he was under the influence of alcohol on the day of his death. Based on the evidence I am not clear or sure what Dean's intentions were at the time and I'm certainly not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Dean intended to take his own life."

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