Missing boy, 11, found hanged

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The Independent Online

An 11-year-old boy who was reported missing was later found hanged in his back garden.

Matthew James had disappeared from his terraced home in the village of Pensford, near Whitchurch, Bristol.

Avon and Somerset Police mounted a search after he went missing last Thursday but he was found shortly afterwards in the garden.

A police spokesman said: "On Thursday April 14, police attended an address at Hillcrest in the village of Pensford following a sudden death.

"Inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the death continue, although they are not thought to be suspicious.

"The case has been transferred to the coroner."

An inquest into Matthew's death was opened at Flax Bourton Coroner's Court yesterday.

Coroner's officer Dave Griffiths said Matthew was confirmed dead at about 8.45pm.

"He was found in the back garden probably around 8pm, but was confirmed dead at 8.45pm," he said.

"The cause of death is unascertained at the moment, pending expert reports."

The inquest was adjourned until a later date to allow further inquiries into Matthew's death.

Pensford residents told the Bristol Evening Post the village had been shocked by the news.

One resident described Matthew as a "lovely, friendly lad who always had a smile on his face".

A neighbour added: "We can't believe what has happened, it's an absolute tragedy.

"He was a great kid, a lovely local lad. It's just so sad that this has happened."