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‘Popular and bubbly’ boy, 11, hanged himself by accident

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A popular young boy who ‘loved life’ died in a ‘terrible accident’ when he hanged himself in his bedroom, an inquest has heard.

Schoolboy Mathew Stollery took his dinner to his bedroom – which was not unusual, his family said – after he fell into a bad mood.

He had been accused of stealing £10 the previous year, but he had in fact been given the money for good behaviour.

Though Matthew was upset, his parents were supportive and reassured Mathew he was not to blame, the court heard.

But the 11-year-old football fan from Gillingham in Kent was found hanged in his bedroom in May and could not be revived despite the efforts of family and paramedics.

Mid Kent and Medway assistant coroner Scott Matthewson said he could not come to a verdict of suicide as it was not clear whether Mathew intended to end his life.

His mother Joanne added that Mathew, a ‘popular and bubbly’ boy with a passion for life, was looking forward to starting secondary school, and taking a trip to the London Aquarium in the summer holidays.

Mid Kent and Medway assistant coroner Scott Matthewson said he could not come to a verdict of suicide as it was not clear whether Mathew intended to end his life

She said: “That’s not the sound of someone that wanted to go and do what he did.

“Mathew loved life too much. That’s why I think it’s a horrible accident.”

The coroner instead gave a narrative verdict detailing Matthew’s last hours.

His mother Joanne had left the house to go on a bike ride, but received a call from her daughter just minutes later and raced back home, but sadly her son could not be saved.

Mr Matthewson said: “It’s certainly a possibility that Mathew was cross and was trying to make a point in his anger, that he intended to be found, and that the reason he did what he did was to shock his family as a result of feeling rotten about the allegations and make them understand he was unhappy.

“Nobody in the family could have predicted it.

“The scene that played out in the house that evening was one that you would see up and down the country, and you would not expect to end in the tragedy this did.

“Nobody is to blame. This in my judgement was a terrible accident.”

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Mathew lived with his mum and dad Mark Stollery, brothers Sam, 18, and James, 13, and sisters Hannah, 15, and Amy, nine.

Speaking after the hearing, Joanne said Mathew’s popularity extended throughout the neighbourhood.

She said: “He was very popular. Not just at school but in the local area as well.

“Everyone said how happy he was and he was always running to places with a big smile on his face.

“He was a really helpful little boy. Mathew was the liveliest of all the kids.

“You knew when Mathew was around because you could hear him. He was very loud, and he was a joker.

“Mathew loved life too much. That’s why I think it’s a horrible accident.

“Everyone is just in shock because you don’t expect it with such a lovely happy little boy.

“We haven’t been able to accept it, and we still think he’s going to come through the door.

“The house is just so quiet without him around.”

If you need to speak to someone, Samaritans are available 24/7 by calling 116 123 or by emailing jo@samaritans.org

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