Schoolboy found hanging by dog-lead dies: Police say death of 10-year-old may be a prank gone wrong 'or something more sinister'
Thursday 16 June 1994
The schoolboy was certified dead on Tuesday night in the intensive-care unit of Sheffield Children's Hospital where he had been on a life-support machine for 12 days. He had not recovered consciousness since being found. His parents, Patricia and Grenville, agreed to his organs being donated for transplant.
A spokesman for South Yorkshire police said that the death was being treated as suspicious, but not as murder. It was being investigated 'with the thoroughness of a murder inquiry'.
John was found outside the Rowena Infant School near his home in Conisbrough, South Yorkshire, on 3 June by his brother, Lee, 13. Neighbours tried to revive him but it took electric shock treatment by ambulance paramedics to restart his heart.
Dr John Clark, the Home Office pathologist who carried out the post- mortem examination yesterday, said that the cause of death was brain damage due to hanging.
Detective Superintendent John Hope, who was heading a team of 60 officers investigating John's death, said the chances of it being an accident looked 'increasingly unlikely'. He said that it was more likely to have been a schoolboy prank which went wrong, or 'something more sinister'.
He said: 'It is extremely tragic and our hearts go out to John's family. We are doing all we can to try and get to the bottom of this. We are treating the death as suspicious . . . I can't say he was murdered because I simply don't know. We have had a lot of help already from members of the public but we are still wanting to trace anyone in the area between 4pm and 4.25pm on Friday 3 June.'
The owner of the plaited-rope dog lead, who was traced soon after the tragedy, has told detectives that it had disappeared two days before the incident.
Det Supt Hope said he was keen to question a cyclist seen in the area. 'He has not come forward and may not have done because he is frightened. He may be totally innocent - but he may have vital information to give us.'
The cyclist is described as about 17 and well-built. He wore a dark, shiny zip- up jacket and jeans, and rode a white mountain bike with green lettering.
Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Revealed after 75 years of secrecy: 'Fifi' the glamorous WW2 special agent who tested British spies' resolve
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Scottish independence: Almost half of No voters have felt 'personally threatened' by the Yes campaign
Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
£45000 - £55000 Per Annum 31 days holiday, pension, healthcare, annual bonus: ...
£100 - £222 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recruiting f...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: SEN TA's apply now! West Midlands
£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...