Liam Cole: York boy’s suicide ‘unspeakable tragedy’

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The family of a “loveable” 12-year-old boy who was found hanged in his bedroom suffered an “unspeakable tragedy”, a coroner has said.

York coroner Donald Coverdale said Liam Cole was the only person who really knew why he decided to end his life.

Mr Coverdale ruled out any idea Liam had been bullied or abused at home or at his school, York High School.

He said there was evidence of arguments at his family home in the Chapelfields area of York, but the coroner said this did not amount to anything out of the ordinary.

Mr Coverdale told the inquest at York Register Office yesterday (Thursday): “Only one person really knew what was in Liam’s mind and that was Liam and he’s not here.”

He told the court: “It may be that Liam was a particularly sensitive boy and perhaps reacted to family matters in a way that, maybe, other children wouldn’t react.”

The hour-long hearing heard that Liam was found hanging by his mother on January 16.

It had been an ordinary morning at his home and he had been tidying his room and looking after his hamsters.

Attempts were made to resuscitate Liam but he was pronounced dead at hospital.

The coroner said he was confident he could record a suicide verdict because of the contents of a note Liam left on a Post-it type pad in his room.

Mr Coverdale said the note, which was addressed to his mother, Nicola Montgomery, “referred to domestic matters” and mentioned another person he said he was not prepared to name.

Liam’s father Michael Wilson has been running a campaign to have this note read out at the inquest.

Mr Wilson, from Leeds, and Mrs Montgomery are no longer together and were not together at the time of their son’s death.

But Mr Coverdale said he would not read the note out.

He said it was not his practice to read out private suicide notes and also cited Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and his duty, therefore, to protect Mrs Montgomery’s privacy.

The coroner said: “Would Liam have wanted that note to be read aloud in a public arena like this?

“I don’t think he would.”

Mr Coverdale also addressed questions about whether Liam had been bullied.

He said North Yorkshire Police had conducted an extensive inquiry and, although there was a suggestion he had been teased about wearing glasses, there was no evidence he had been bullied.

The coroner said detectives concluded “there was no abuse of Liam at his home and there was no violence directed towards Liam at his home, likewise at his school.”

He added: “There had been no previous indications from Liam that he felt he wanted to take his life.”

The coroner said: “This is clearly an unspeakable tragedy for all members of Liam’s family.”


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