Teenager died in tragic 'prank'

The devastated parents of a 13-year-old boy found hanged in his bedroom have said they believe it may have been a prank that went tragically wrong.

THE DEVASTATED parents of a 13-year-old boy found hanged in his bedroom have said they believe it may have been a prank that went tragically wrong.

Dean Hunt was found by his mother, Eileen, in his bedroom at their house in Tolleshunt D'Arcy near Maldon.

An inquest heard today that Mrs Hunt, 38, initially believed her son, who she described as a “dare devil” loved to joke, was messing around.

But she quickly realised Dean, who had been a pupil at Thurstable School, Tiptree, was not breathing and had hanged himself from a bunk bed using the cord from a dressing gown.


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Essex Coroner's Court heard the teenager was a “popular lad who enjoyed the funnier things in life”.

Dean went up to his bedroom after school on June 14 while his mother was downstairs.

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But when she went up to speak to him she found him standing up, but slumped forward, with the cord round his neck.

Desperate efforts were made to resuscitate him but he was later declared dead by a doctor.

A statement from Mrs Hunt, read out by the coroner's officer, John Pheby, said Dean did not have any problems at school, with either work or other pupils.

She also said she was “quite satisfied” her son had not been subjected to bullying.

There was no sign of a struggle and the inquest in Chelmsford was also told a suicide note had never been found.

Essex Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray said there was not enough evidence of suicide and recorded an open verdict.

She said: “Was he larking around and things went horribly wrong? That is a possibility.

“We will never be quite certain what happened in that bedroom. What was on his mind?”

Dean had two brothers, Bradley and Joe, and after his death his school pay tribute to him.

Headteacher Nick Hammond said: “Both pupils and teachers enjoyed his dry sense of humour and friendly banter.

“Dean was a sensitive boy with the imagination to produce interesting and well thought-out creative writing.”

Speaking afterwards, his father, Colin, 38, said: “We think it was just a prank, he was a prankster who played around a lot.”

The family have set up a website for Dean where there are pictures and tributes from family and friends: www.gonetoosoon.co.uk

Dean's tribute page

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