Tragic 11-year-old YouTube prankster 'accidentally hanged himself while playing trick on brother' (From Leigh Journal)
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Atherton schoolboy's death could have been the result of a prank that went wrong
3:59pm Friday 16th August 2013 in News
A SCHOOLBOY with a history of playing pranks to make internet videos hanged himself accidentallly, a coroner has ruled.
Model pupil Brad Rothwell, aged 11, was found at his home in Peel Close, Atherton, on May 23 this year and was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.
At an inquest at Bolton Coroners’ Court on Thursday, his heartbroken father Bryn Rothwell said Brad had uploaded videos of himself playing pranks on his younger brother Brett to YouTube.
Greater Manchester West area coroner Alan Walsh recorded a verdict of accidental death after concluding Brad did not mean to kill himself and that he was prone to playing pranks to get a reaction.
On the day of his death, Brad came home from school and ate dinner. Mr Rothwell, who works as a dental technician, went out with Brett to deliver items related to his job. When the pair arrived home 90 minutes later, Brett went inside and rushed out, telling his father: “Brad is pretending to kill himself.”
Mr Rothwell told the inquest: “I thought he was messing about, and then I rushed upstairs and found him.”
The devastated father gave his son CPR but was unable to revive him.
He said: “He had done videos on YouTube, jumping out of wardrobes, scaring his brother.
“He would say to me ‘don’t tell him I’m upstairs’ so he could jump out at Brett.
“It could be another prank that he could have been thinking about.”
On the subject of hanging, pathologist Dr Mark Pearson told Mr Walsh: “People can lose control of the situation without realising it.
“It is very likely that Brad did not understand what was happening. It could have potentially lasted a matter of seconds.”
Mr Walsh said: “Brad was prone to pranks and unexpected behaviour to gain reactions, whether it is one of shock or excitement.
“Pranks can get out of hand and Brad would not have been able to save himself.”
The inquest also heard how Brad’s mother, Joanne Lucketti had died, aged 44, 10 days before Christmas 2010 after a long battle against cancer.
She spent the last three months of her life at St Ann’s Hospice, in Little Hulton, and Brad would visit daily with his loved ones.
Mr Rothwell told the hearing Brad would not start conversations about his mother but would talk about her when asked.
Brad started attending Fred Longworth High School in Tyldesley in September 2011 and became a model pupil and had no problems with bullying.
He enjoyed sports, school trips and loved to watch documentaries, particularly about history.
Mr Walsh described Brad as a bright, intelligent little boy and said Mr Rothwell was an exemplary father who had gone through an unimaginable tragedy, with the loss of two loved ones in under three years.
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