Tribute paid to ‘much loved’ Colchester boy Brandon Barker, 13

Brandon Barker, 13, from Colchester. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Brandon Barker, 13, from Colchester. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY - Credit: Archant

A father has paid tribute to his “lovely” son following an inquest into the boy’s death.

Brandon Barker, 13, was described as “very excited” and always wanting to help others, by dad Carl.

Mr Barker was speaking after an inquest ruled that Brandon, of Berkley Close, Colchester, took his own life.

He said: “He was very excited, a handful and a very boisterous kid.

“He loved his sisters and his nan very much. He was always wanting to help other people. But since he went to secondary school it all went pear-shaped for him.”

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Mr Barker said Brandon had been referred to a specialist for mental health problems and that a referral came through a month before he took his own life.

He said: “I tried for two years to get something in place for him. Brandon has been let down massively. There should be help for parents with concerns.”

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Brandon was found by his great-grandfather hanging in a car port at his grandparents’ Langenhoe home, where he had been staying.

At his inquest yesterday Al Clements, coroner’s officer, said: “Brandon was last seen on August 11 at around 9.40am. It was thought he had gone out but at 1.40pm his great-grandfather went into the car port and found him.”

Paramedics were called but he was declared dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination said death was caused by hanging, but that he also had pneumonia.

Many of Brandon’s family attended the inquest including his grandparents and aunt, and father Carl, who when asked if Brandon had been suffering from a cough replied “not recently”.

A police investigation found no suspicious circumstances.

Detective Inspector Greg Wood said the car port was at the bottom of the garden: “He wouldn’t have been visible unless someone was trying to find him.”

He added no note was found.

Mr Barker said he had not found anything suggesting why his son had acted the way he did.

Essex senior coroner Caroline Beasley Murray said: “I have come to the very sad conclusion Brandon intended to take his own life. I have borne in mind he was a young teenage boy and such boys can sometimes be impulsive but I’m sure his intention was to take a deliberate action knowing it would result in his death.

“Seeing you all here it is very clear Brandon was a much loved little boy. I want to express my sympathy to you all.”

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