Boy hanged himself 'because of bullying'

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The Independent Online
AN 11-YEAR-OLD boy who hanged himself in a council children's home had been subjected to 'excessive' bullying, according to an independent report yesterday.

Matthew Saxon had complained of being bullied at the Kings Road home in Tameside, Greater Manchester, but his complaints were not handled properly by social services, said the report by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

He should have received urgent specialist help after he tried to harm himself by tying a lace around his neck, but it never came.

Matthew was later found hanged by a lace behind his bedroom door after an argument with another boy at the home.

An inquest following the death in May recorded a verdict of misadventure.

Yesterday's report criticised Tameside social services department, saying the failure to seek specialist help after Matthew's first attempt to harm himself was a 'significant omission'.

The NSPCC recommended that Tameside council should monitor the level of aggressive behaviour and complaints about bullying in its homes.

Jonathan Smith, the social services director, said he accepted there had been failings and that he had drawn up an agenda for action.