Family has no answers why 12-year-old boy apparently took own life, inquest hears
16th December 2022
An inquest has heard a family has no answers as to why a 12-year-old boy appeared to take his own life in their home last year.
A sitting of Dublin District Coroner’s Court heard harrowing details about how the young boy’s older brother found him in their home at around 7pm on August 2, 2021.
The boy, whose family come originally from Moldova, died four days later after a life-support machine was switched off.
The coroner, Clare Keane, said post-mortem results showed he had died as a result of asphyxiation.
Dr Keane said the victim had suffered irreversible brain damage due to a lack of oxygen to his body.
The boy carried his brother outside into a yard while he and his mother alerted neighbours and emergency services.
The boy was brought to Naas General Hospital but transferred later that evening to CHI Temple Street in Dublin where he died on August 6, 2021.
The inquest heard the last time the boy was seen was by his mother about 15 minutes before the fatal incident when he could not find his favourite T-shirt.
The boy’s brother told the coroner that he was not aware that the deceased had ever been bullied and could offer no explanation for his actions.
“I can’t help but think about the reasons why every day,” he added.
The witness said he hoped that his brother’s death was due to some “fool” conduct or behaviour that went wrong rather than suicide.
He said he had never seen his brother being sad and he was happy with other kids in school.
The teenager said his brother was playing the football video game, FIFA in the hours before his death but would be just as happy playing outside with friends.
As an older brother, he said he had spoken to his younger sibling about things that he needed to know about but they had never discussed suicide.
While the dead boy might hide something from his parents, he said his brother never hid anything from him.
The boy’s father described his son as a very active, loving boy.
Through a Romanian interpreter, he said: “I don’t understand why this thing happened.”
He described how his son had only moved to Ireland around two months before his death but “everything was perfect.”
The man, who had been living in Ireland for two years before being joined by his family, recalled how his son had wanted to be the president of France because that is where he had worked for a number of years.
Asked by Dr Keane if his son was reluctant to leave Moldova, the man said he was “very excited” about coming to Ireland and had settled in well.
The inquest heard the boy, who had learnt English in Moldova, was assessed by a school in Ireland.
His father smiled as he remembered how his son was really happy at being described by a teacher as “not excellent, but brilliant.”’
He said his son was not an introvert and played regularly with everyone in the area where he lived.
Fighting back tears, the man said he had spoken to his son earlier that day and hoped to get home early to go for a walk together but had got detained at work.
In reply to questions from the coroner, he said he could not imagine what had bothered his son.
He described how he had always worked hard to provide for his family and had been able to give his son everything he wanted including phones and gadgets.
The man said he was able to monitor what his son was watching online and he had never come across any material that raised a concern.
The inquest heard the boy had no problem sleeping and was not on any medication at the time of his death.
The father said he was “very sorry” about what happened but felt like “somebody else can have a good life” after it was revealed that his son’s heart and liver were able to save the lives of two other young children.
Garda Michael Hanley told the inquest that he was satisfied that the boy’s injuries were self-inflicted and there was no involvement of any third party in his death.
The coroner recorded a verdict of self-inflicted death as she explained she had heard no evidence of any intent on the part of the boy to take his own life.
“It is entirely possible he did not understand the consequences of what he was doing,” Dr Keane said.
Offering her condolences to the boy’s parents and brother, the coroner said what happened was “absolutely heart-breaking.”
Dr Keane expressed hope that the life of such “a sunny boy with a marvellous disposition” would not be defined by the manner of his death “but everything that happened before.”
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