A 15-year-old schoolboy was found found hanged in his bedroom because he had a row with his parents about using his mobilephone at night, an inquest heard.
Keelan Groves and his younger brother had been told to keep their devices in a downstairs room when they went to bed so they would not play on them late into the evening.
But when Keelan was late bringing it downstairs on May 17, he returned to his bedroom with the phone and the following morning had an argument with his parents and had the device confiscated at school.
That evening, on May 18, Keelan apologised to his mother Julie but later that night his father found him hanged at the family home in Fleetwood, Lancashire.
He was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital and was transferred to Manchester Children’s hospital but died two days later on May 20.
At an inquest into the youngster’s death, a coroner said Keelan’s death was an ‘act of impulse’ but the teenager did not ‘intend the consequences of his actions.’
Keelan who was in Year 10 at Fleetwood High School, was a keen musician and played the drums with a local rock band.
In a statement to the Fleetwood hearing, his father, Darren, said: ‘We had an agreement with the children that mobile devices on school nights come downstairs to be charged, so they don’t play on them all night.
‘That agreement had been in place for a couple of years, with no problems. Keelan’s mother would text him saying that it’s time to bring the phone downstairs, and he would. Both boys were pretty good at abiding by these rules with no problems.’
Last May Keelan was late bringing his phone downstairs for the night.
Keelan was a keen musician and played the drums in a local band. He had been told to leave his phone downstairs before bedtime but kept it upstairs following a row with his parents
Mr Groves added: ‘His mother sent him a message and he eventually came down some time after 10pm. We had a discussion about it, and he took the phone back upstairs with him.
‘The decision was made to leave it until the following day to sort it out but when we went upstairs, it seemed like his phone was not switched on.
‘I got up early to go to work but when I came home that afternoon, my wife was already at home and that was a surprise to me.
‘She was upset that she had had an argument with Keelan. She had confiscated his phone but he took it back from her and his head of year put the phone in the safe at school. He had apologised to his mum, and accepted that he was out of order and I could tell he knew he had done wrong.
‘I had a talk with him, and his attitude was that that he knew he would get it back the next day from the school. He said he had apologised to mum and went upstairs just after 4pm.
‘I went into his room and he seemed fine. He was sat at the end of his bed, he was watching YouTube. He was a bit of a musician, he was watching a band. He seemed very relaxed.
‘I went out and came back about 20 minutes later. It was just my wife and other son there but 20 minutes later I went upstairs and I found Keelan. I cannot believe he wanted to end his own life. When I left his bedroom earlier, he seemed his usual self.’
Det Insp Alisa Wilson of Lancashire Police said: ‘Keelan’s phone was pin locked so it took some time to access it. But there was nothing on the it to give any indication as to this would have happened. He seemed like a normal teenage boy.
‘We had a meeting, and no investigative body expressed any concern over his health or mental health.’
Recording a verdict of death by hanging coroner Richard Taylor said: ‘There had been a disagreement at home over Keelan’s use of his mobile phone at night while in bed. He returned from school on the 18 May and his father left to pick up his younger brother.
‘He had a brief conversation with Keelan in which he seemed fine but he returned to the house 20 minutes later and found him hanging.’
The coroner told Mr Groves: ‘There is nothing that I have heard it read that suggests either you or your wife should reproach yourselves in any way. This was a reasonable punishment that many parents would adopt in these circumstances.
‘It seems it was accepted by Keelan, who apologised to his mum as he knew that he had been in the wrong. It was supported by his school and it was a punishment intended to be for a short duration.
‘He believed that he would get his phone back the next day from the school.. Questions parents often ask are ‘what if’. I would suggest that, if put in the same circumstances, you would not have considered there to be anything wrong with your punishment.
‘I believe that what Keelan did was an act of impulse. It was not thought out or planned. I can’t accept that he believed his actions would end his life.’
In a statement at the time of tragedy Richard Barnes headmaster at Fleetwood High said Keelan’s funeral cortege would pass by the school.
He said: ‘The school was shocked and saddened to hear the news that Keelan tragically passed away before the half term holiday.
‘Keelan was a fantastic member of the Fleetwood High Family and will be missed by all. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.’
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