Vegan child who had meat thrown at him in lunch breaks found hanged

A 12-year-old school boy who was bullied for being a vegan went home and hanged himself, an inquest heard.

Louie Tom Fenton, 12, was found hanging in his family bathroom on January 19.

He had endured years of bullying because of his veganism and had meat thrown at him during his lunch break, Hertfordshire Coroner’s Court in Hatfield heard yesterday (thu).

His mother, Catherine Fenton, wrote a letter to the court about the bullying he suffered.

She wrote: “He had been bullied regularly since he arrived at Richard Hale School. He had regular appointments with the counsellor and he started self harming.

“They threw meat at him in the canteen because he was a vegan.

“I’m concerned that if he was being bullied to such an extent that he wanted to hang himself, whether the school has done anything to tackle it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

To avoid the bullying, the court heard that Louie would often go outside to eat and he picked up a smoking habit to deal with the stress of bullying.

The coroner was told that the mother approached the school several times and the bullying still continued.

No statement from Louie’s school was presented at the inquest except police notes from an interview with headteacher Stephen Neate.

In the notes, Mr Neate said that Louie had become a heavy smoker and was spending time with older children.

The coroner for Hertfordshire, Geoffrey Sullivan, told the court that he would write to Richard Hale School to ensure that bullying and self harming is dealt with in the right manner.

He said: “Given what you have said I shall write to the headteacher at the school to ask if policies are in place and up to date in respect of pupils who experience bullying and do self harm.”

His father, Graeme Fenton, wrote to the court explaining that he believed that Louie did not mean to kill himself and was simply messing around.

The coroner said that there was no evidence that Louie had intended to kill himself, and no note was found.

Louie, from Waterford, Herts, was skilled at tying knots and had been a member of Hertfold Sea Scouts.

He had also shown excitement for a school skiing trip he was due to go in within weeks and had even talked about who he would share his room with.

In a statement his family said: “Louie was a wonderful boy, much loved by family and friends alike.

“He had wide ranging interests and was very passionate about them.

“In some ways, he had wisdom and concerns way beyond his years, and in other ways he was a mischievous, enthusiastic boy to whom the world offered the opportunity of discovery and adventure.

“Louie had a wonderful sense of humour and an infectious giggle.

“On the day he died he had appeared excited by gifts he had received in the post, he mentioned a couple of issues at school but did not appear unduly troubled.

“We feel his loss deeply, he made our lives better by being with us. He still had so much to offer.”

The coroner gave an open verdict and explained how that he was not convinced that Louie meant to kill himself.

A Justgiving page has been set up by Louie’s family to raise money to the Sea Life Trust – a cause he felt very strongly about.

If you or anyone you know is affected by issues in this article then contact the Samaritans on 116 123.

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