Football-mad boy, 12, found dead in bedroom after watching ‘depressing’ videos

A "happy" boy, 12, ended his life after reading song lyrics about suicide and watching "depressing" content on TikTok, an inquest heard.

Tragic youngster Ethan Bourne "had his whole life ahead of him" but just days after his 12th birthday, he was found hanging in his bedroom.

An "open" conclusion was reached on Thursday at Walthamstow Coroner's Court as it could not be said for certain whether Ethan meant to take his own life or if it was an accident.

The Arsenal-loving football fan, who also enjoyed fishing, had a happy home life with his five brothers and sisters in Waltham Forest, northeast London.

The day before his death in January this year he had received a new pair of trainers, baked an Oreo cheesecake with his mum, and gone to bed as normal.

He was also planning for the future, Walthamstow Coroner's Court was told.

His family were "profoundly shocked" to find him dead the following morning.

Senior Coroner Graeme Irvine recorded an "open" conclusion

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However, the Coroner read evidence from detectives that a search of the youngster's laptop revealed he had been looking at song lyrics related to suicide and watched content on TikTok that an officer described as "depressing"

Mr Irvine said: "Internet searches showed little of note, but there are some issues regarding searches for song lyrics which could be interpreted as perhaps indicative of a melancholic state of mind."

Police also found a computer animation of a male walking down a train track with music.

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The man is struck by the train and then text appears asking, "would you move" and "you have made it to the depressing side of TikTok," the inquest was told.

Mr Irvine heard evidence that Ethan had recently begun to show an interest in the identity of his biological father, who his mother had separated from when he was just weeks old.

The court was told how analysis of the laptop revealed he had searched for a website called "find your dad now".

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Mr Irvine said he did not believe any more could have been done by the authorities to protect Ethan.

He said: "It seems that, by and large, he was a happy boy who was content with his educational and his home life and it doesn't appear to me that there was an obvious opportunity missed to provide support to Ethan."

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Concluding the hearing, Mr Irvine said: "It seems to me that I can't arrive at a conclusion of suicide.

"There is no evidence before me that he intended to cause his own death."

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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