A dyslexic boy hanged himself and said in a note that it was because he had been bullied by primary school teachers eight years earlier.
Laurence Manning’s father, David, accused Chelmsford Cathedral School of a ‘complete cover up with buckets of pious whitewash’ after he alleged a teacher had poked him in the chest.
He said that his sone had been left so upset by the situation that he threatened to self-harm and could not bear to be in the same room, leading his parents to pull him out of the school.
His mother, Marie, 54, told an inquest into his death that Laurence had been suffering from post-traumatic stress and his behaviour changed following the incident.
Speaking outside the court after coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray recorded that he had taken his own life, Mr Manning claimed: ‘Laurence said he had been struck in the chest by the teacher. He was very distressed by it.
‘There are circumstances where it is appropriate for a teacher to restrain a child but I find the argument that the teacher was “using reasonable force to assert my position” sounds like dominance by violence to me’.
The teacher was suspended after the alleged attack in 2009 but reinstated and a police investigation was launched but the teacher was not charged.
In 2016 he took his GCSEs and hoped to start a carpentry course but was plagued with post-traumatic stress, the inquest was told, and he tried to kill himself with an overdose of painkillers – six months before he hanged himself on april 7.
He was due to have counselling but the professional he was supposed to see was injured in a car crash.
David Manning said his son was suffering from post-traumatic stress
Mrs Beasley-Murray acknowledged that previous events appeared to have had a ‘traumatic effect’ on the schoolboy but did not discuss Mr Manning’s allegations.
She said: ‘The court has been extremely mindful of the long-standing affect that there seems to have been on Laurence to what happened when he was a little boy.
‘I have come to the conclusion that Laurence intended to take his own life.’
Before taking his life Laurence contacted police but by the time they got there he had already taken his life.
During the inquest his father said: ‘Laurence’s experience at Chelmsford Cathedral School was a major underlying cause of his vulnerability.
‘I do not hold these people exclusively to blame for his death but I hold them largely to blame for his death.’
Breaking down in tears, Mrs Manning said: ‘Prior to the incident there were no behavioural incidents. I think what happened previously made him vulnerable.
‘Laurence was always loving and loved, he will always be missed and we cannot replace him.’
Mr Manning added outside the court: ‘It (the alleged assault) stayed with him, it was still with him at 16, he had a conversation about it with his mother.
‘He mentioned it in his suicide note about someone only being able to put so much behind them.
‘Chelmsford Catholic School failed to protect my son, it was an enduring problem for Laurence which I believe was ultimately a major contributing factor for his death’.