Parents reveal bullying torment of suicide girl is revealed Parents release girl's account of bullying

The parents of a 13-year-old girl who killed herself in a suicide pact with a friend yesterday released a 1,500-word letter found in her bedroom in which she wrote of her anguish at being bullied.

The parents of a 13-year-old girl who killed herself in a suicide pact with a friend yesterday released a 1,500-word letter found in her bedroom in which she wrote of her anguish at being bullied.

Yvonne and Michael Rhodes made the letter public on the day of their daughter Laura's funeral in an effort to highlight the emotional agony that she suffered.

Laura, from Cimla, near Neath, south Wales, was took a suspected prescription drugs overdose at the family home on 4 September. Her best friend, Rebecca Ling, 14, had also taken an overdose with Laura but was found alive and has recovered.

A coroner's investigation has begun into Laura's death, but her parents are angry that police initially ruled out bullying as a factor in their daughter's suicide.

Mr and Mrs Rhodes said: "The reason that we want people to read Laura's story is that we want them to understand how demoralised, belittled, and helpless a bullied child feels.

"Laura could never have known that this letter could help another child because she wrote it to try to exorcise her ghosts following her bad experience.

"She would never have imagined that anyone other than her family would be interested. We hope they are."

They say that Laura was bullied relentlessly at the Cefn Saeson Comprehensive School, Neath. Extracts from the letter describe how she would lie in bed wishing she did not have to leave the house and how she tried to harm herself as the bullying became unbearable.

The letter describes the daily cruelty that Laura was forced to endure in the form of taunts and insults about her size from her schoolmates.

As she put on weight, she describes herself as "fat, ugly and worthless". At school, the bullying went on all day, she wrote.

She added: "I moved through the people trying to ignore the nasty comments: 'Oh my God look at the sight of her.' 'Yeah I know, she's a dyke too.' I had this every morning, lunchtime and the end of the day."

Laura also describes her frustration and anguish at the failure of those around her to believe that she is being bullied or to take her fears seriously.

The letter concludes with a graphic description of an attempt at slashing her wrists at home after a day at school. "I took out the scissors, I knew what I was doing, maybe this would show them what they were doing.

"I dragged it over my wrists a few times, the next few times pressing harder. It felt really good. It hurt, but I pressed harder, shit. There was a mark, a deep red one, what can I do?"

Eventually, Laura moved from the school to a local pupil referral unit, but she was unable to escape her feelings of self-loathing.Her parents found the two girls after they had taken an apparent overdose but Laura died later in hospital.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Dawkins: 'There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn into a frog – it's statistically too improbable'
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Sport
Malky Mackay salutes the Cardiff fans after the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday
footballFormer Cardiff boss accused of sending homophobic, racist and messages
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Amis: Taken to task over rash decisions and ill-judged statements
booksThe Zone of Interest just doesn't work, says James Runcie
Life and Style
life – it's not, says Rachel McKinnon
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Corporate Tax Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGHEST QUALITY INTERNATIONAL ...

Relationship Manager

£500 - £600 per day: Orgtel: Relationship Manager, London, Banking, Accountant...

Marketing & PR Assistant - NW London

£15 - £17 per hour: Ashdown Group: Marketing & PR Assistant - Kentish Town are...

Senior Network Integration/Test Engineer

£250 - £300 per day: Orgtel: Senior Network Integration/Test Engineer Berkshir...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home