Teenager killed himself after being bullied for being autistic and gay

Teenager killed himself after being bullied for being autistic and gay

February 24, 2020

Teenager, 16, killed himself after being ‘relentlessly’ bullied for being autistic and gay after coming out aged 12, inquest hears

  • Cameron Warwick, 16, struggled with depression and had autism, inquest heard 
  • His mother said he was bullied at school for being gay, after coming out at 12 
  • She said pupils would throw food at him, call him names and trip him up at lunch
  • Cameron was found dead in woods in Fareham, Hampshire after missing college
  • Coroner Jason Pegg recorded verdict of suicide at Portsmouth Coroner’s Court 

A teenager killed himself after being ‘relentlessly’ bullied at school for being gay, an inquest has heard.

Cameron Warwick, 16, from Fareham, Hampshire, was found dead in Fort Fareham Woods on September 4 last year, having not turned up to college that day.

The teenager, who had autism and struggled with depression, had come out as gay at the age of 12, with his mother saying it led to him being bullied at school. 

Heartbroken Kerry Warwick, 38, claimed other pupils even threw food at him during lunch breaks – leading her son to self harm as he struggled to cope.

She said they’d also trip him up in the corridors and call him names like ‘autistic f***’. 

Coroner Jason Pegg recorded a verdict of suicide at Portsmouth Coroner’s Court.

Cameron Warwick, 16, from Fareham, Hampshire, with his dog Eddie. The teenager killed himself after being relentlessly bullied for being autistic and gay

He said: ‘Cameron had this background of autism – which resulted in bullying at times. Not only did he take his own life, he intended to do so.’

Just before his death, Cameron also saw the breakdown of his online relationship with Christopher Robertson, 18, the inquest heard.

In a statement, Christopher told the hearing: ‘I believe Cameron was relentlessly bullied at school by other students for coming out as gay.’

Bill Ashcroft, 16, a schoolfriend of Cameron, said: ‘One boy at school told him he was ugly.

‘He didn’t keep his mental health a secret, if something was wrong he would always talk to us about it.’

Cameron had failed to get the GCSE grades he wanted to enroll on a gaming course at college, having been overwhelmed by exam stress, and had instead gone on to study Computer Design.

He had just missed out on the required Grade 4 result in Maths to study gaming.

Mrs Warwick told the hearing: ‘Over the rest of the school holiday his mood didn’t really improve.

‘I tried to comfort him because he did get six GCSEs at grade 4 and above, but he could only see the Maths grade.’

Cameron Warwick with his mother Kerry Warwick. She claimed other pupils even threw food at him during lunch breaks – leading her son to self harm as he struggled to cope

On September 4 last year, shortly after starting at Fareham College, he failed to turn up for lessons and was later discovered hanging in Fort Fareham Woods, near the town. 

After the hearing, Mrs Warwick, a housing association welfare officer, said fellow pupils at Fareham Academy had tormented him over the years for being gay.

She said: ‘They would bully him and isolate him.

‘They would throw things like food at him, trip him up in the corridor, and call him horrible names like ”autistic f***”.’

‘The bullies would prey on the fact he was gay. He was ostracised, with pupils refusing to sit with him and calling him names.

‘By Year 10, he had resigned himself to the bullying.’

Mrs Warwick, who also has a 10 year old daughter, said Cameron was a talented artist. His art was based on ‘furries’ – animals in humanoid form – but a number of pieces also depicted suicide.

She said he had made a previous attempt on his life in 2017 and would self harm.

Paying tribute to their beloved son, she and his father, embroidery machine engineer Alan Warwick, 47, said in a statement: ‘Cameron was a much-loved, gentle and kind young man.

‘His illnesses made it impossible for him to continue to live in a world which he did not understand, and one which made little effort to understand him.

‘We miss him with all of our hearts, and would urge others to be compassionate to other people’s vulnerabilities, or to share their own and seek help to avoid other such tragedies.’

The current headteacher of Fareham Academy today said he could not comment on any bullying Cameron had suffered at the school but insisted it had a zero tolerance policy on such behaviour.

Chris Prankerd said: ‘In respecting confidentiality, we do not comment on any matters relating to individual students during their time at our school.

‘However, I can confirm the school has a robust, zero tolerance policy on bullying, taking considered proportionate action as necessary.

‘Alongside this, we aim to teach our students to be understanding, thoughtful and kind to others, through our personal, social and health curriculum.

‘Having only been appointed as Headteacher of the Academy in September, I did not have the pleasure of knowing Cameron during his time at the school but my deepest and sincere condolences go out to his family and friends.’

For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details 

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