No evidence tragic Bradford schoolboy was bullied, detective tells inquest

Asad Khan reportedly took his own life after being bullied at school. Picture: Guzelian
Asad Khan reportedly took his own life after being bullied at school. Picture: Guzelian
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Police who investigated the death of an 11-year-old Bradford boy who was found hanging have found no evidence he was being bullied despite the concerns of his parents, an inquest was told today.

Asad Khan was found by his mother, Farheen Khan, when she broke down his bedroom door at their home on September 28 last year.

Asad Khan

Asad Khan

Asad’s parents have voiced concerns about him being bullied and, also, about suggestions there was a choking game being played at Beckfoot Upper Heaton School in the city.

His family walked out of a pre-inquest review in August after a dispute with coroner Martin Fleming about what evidence relating to these matters he would consider at the inquest, which began in full today at Bradford Coroner’s Court.

Mrs Khan and Asad’s father, Asif Mahmood, decided not to take part in the full inquest hearing and were neither present nor legally represented as Mr Fleming resumed the proceedings.

Detective Sergeant Matthew Holdsworth, from West Yorkshire Police, told the inquest: “There’s no evidence to suggest that Asad was being bullied.”

Several children said they’d initially seen Asad being bullied. When spoken to again, the actions changed and were disproved by other lines of inquiry.

Detective Sergeant Matthew Holdsworth

He said: “Several children said they’d initially seen Asad being bullied. When spoken to again, the actions changed and were disproved by other lines of inquiry.”

DS Holdsworth explained how three days of CCTV footage had been trawled through and a number of children at the school had been interviewed.

He was asked by the coroner about a video on the internet which, it had been suggested, showed two boys being forced to kiss by an older child. The officer said his inquiries showed neither of the boys was Asad.

But DS Holdsworth went through an interview with another boy who described how Asad had told him he was being bullied as the pair finished a class at their mosque the day before his death.

The boy told the police that Asad appeared to be sad.

The boy said: “I asked him what’s wrong and he goes, he’s been bullied.

“I asked him by who, and he never answered. He just walked off.”

The boy told the police: “I could see a couple of tears and they were coming out of his eyes. And his lips were going down.”

But DS Holdsworth acknowledged that evidence the inquest will hear from the mosque teacher will say that Asad did not leave in the way described by the boy and, instead, waited for his little brother after his class.

The officer said CCTV footage of Asad’s bus journey to school showed him sitting by himself, looking out of the window and interacting with no-one.

DS Holdwsorth also said he had found no evidence that Asad had been paid £2.50 to do homework for other children. He explained how all the relevant homework had been examined and no discrepancies were found.

The inquest heard in statements from Asad’s family how he had only just moved to the secondary school. It was his fifth choice and he was one of only three children there from his primary school.

The family said in their statement that they had been concerned before he went to the school because they had heard “through the grapevine” it was notorious for bullying.

The inquest continues.

Police.

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