Teenager, 14, did not 'intend to end his life', inquest hears

Wisbech teenager dies at home

Michael Smalley from Wisbech died aged 14 at home in April last year. - Credit: Family

A 14-year-old boy found hanging in his bedroom did not intend to take his own life, an inquest has heard. 

Michael Smalley, from Wisbech, was sent to his room to calm down by his father Chris Smalley after a heated argument following an evening meal. 

Coroner Sean Horstead said at the inquest at Lawrence Court, Huntingdon today (February 5) that Michael was discovered “approximately an hour after he had gone to his room following a minor disagreement with a family member”. 

In a statement read by Mr Horstead on behalf of Chris and Allison Smalley, Michael’s mother Chris had spoken to Michael about his future career options, prompted by his son, the day before his death. 

Mr Horstead told the inquest that Michael was found hanging in his bedroom on the evening of April 4 last year.  

Emergency services attended the scene, but Michael could not be saved. 

Chris and Allison said that Michael, who attended Thomas Clarkson Academy (TCA) in Wisbech, "mixed with the wrong crowd” towards the end of his time at primary school. 

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They were also concerned he may have been diagnosed with ADHD or a split personality disorder. 

“At home, he loved his siblings but was easily angered by them. Michael began to challenge and clash with his mother frequently,” they said. 

“He was generally easy-going and on more than one occasion, he was staying at his friend’s house and police brought him back, saying he hasn’t done anything wrong, but was with a bunch of boys that had.” 

His parents also described Michael as a “stubborn, determined young man”. 

A report written by Dr Mandeep Sira, Michael’s GP, confirmed he had no diagnosed medical or mental health issues and had not seen a clinician “for several years”. 

Michael also made a positive impression at school, having transferred from Neale-Wade Academy in March. 

In a report collated by Alex Salmon, vice-principal at TCA, Michael’s form tutor said he was “always polite, well-behaved and was surrounded by a group of friends who clearly enjoyed each other’s company”. 

Mr Horstead said: “Taking the positive picture painted of Michael, I’m not satisfied on the balance of probabilities that Michael intended his deliberate act. 

“On balance, I consider this was the impetuous act of a child and I am not satisfied that the deceased intended to end his life.” 

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