'We were best friends' - Mother pays tribute to Yorkshire schoolgirl who took her own life

A schoolgirl who sent a heartbreaking message to a friend before she took her own life had been subject to bullying at school for three years, an inquest heard.

By Grace Hammond
Friday, 11th June 2021, 7:48 am
Updated Friday, 11th June 2021, 7:50 am

Kehkshan Rashid, 14, was reported missing when she failed to return home from school and her body was found in woodland near her home by police the next day.

An inquest into her death heard she had told a pal it was "going to be forever" before the tragic incident unfolded in Keighley last September.

Her heartbroken mother told Bradford Coroners Court she would "curl up in bed" watching sad movies during lockdown which would "make her cry".

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Kehkshan Rashid, 14, was reported missing when she failed to return home from school

The court heard Kehkshan, a year 10 pupil at Holy Family Catholic School, had experienced "incidents of bullying" for three years at the school.

In a statement read by the coroner, her heartbroken mum Shazia Ramzan said: "In year 7, 8, 9 there were incidents of bullying, but she had no issues with depression and never needed counselling.

"Her behaviour at home was normal, with some ups and downs. Kehkshan and I were best friends, we would watch movies together, talk, we did everything together. Sometimes she was a mum to me. During lockdown she watched sad movies that made her cry, she would curl up in bed."

The court heard the teen's dad, who now lives in Birmingham, left when she was just a couple weeks old and never acknowledged her "in any way" or sent her gifts or cards.

Ms Ramzan said that they were best friends and they spent each morning cuddling which was her "favourite part of the day".

She added: “At 7.20am she would wake up and she would jump into bed with me and cuddle. We would talk about anything. It was my favourite part of the day."

Ms Ramzan told the court her daughter was "quieter than normal" the day she went missing.

She added: “On the day she went missing she didn’t go into bed with me as usual. She was a lot quieter than she usually was. It wasn’t normal for her to be so quiet.”

A police report following her death found she had messaged a friend shortly before he took her own life.

Kehkshan vanished after attending school on September 16, 2020, and was found by police officers the following day.

Sadly, she was reported dead by the attending paramedics shortly before 2pm.

Kehkshan had lost an unnamed friend to cancer in 2019, and she was also "upset" by the death of an uncle in Pakistan, the court was told.

Coroner Ian Pears recording a verdict of suicide, said: “My greatest commiserations to Shazia. This is a really sad set of circumstances - it’s going to take a lot to come to terms with it.”

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