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My Izzy was bullied for being bright and wearing a longer skirt – inquest

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 13, 2013

By WMN reporters

  • Teenager Izzy Dix, left. Her mother who started an anti-bullying campaign was said to be too upset to attend the inquest but family friend Annie Hargreaves, above, said after the hearing the campaign was unhappy the coroner did not cite bullying as a specific cause of death

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A teenager killed herself after she was bullied at school for wearing long skirts and dreaming of going to Oxford University, an inquest heard.

Tormented Izzy Dix, 14, was found strangled with her school tie after suffering years of cruel taunts and insults.

Izzy's distraught mother Gabbi told an inquest bullies "made her life hell" because she was academically ambitious and refused to wear short skirts like other girls her age.

Gabbi, 46, walked into her daughter's room on September 17 and found her slumped on the floor in her pyjamas and dressing gown.

Her blue, black and grey striped school tie was wrapped around her neck and attached to a doorknob.

Miss Dix said in a statement at the inquest yesterday that Izzy had been bullied relentlessly in and outside of school because she dressed differently and had dreams of attending Oxford.

The pair had lived in Australia for several years but returned to Brixham in 2010, where Izzy attended Brixham Community College.

Gabbi said: "Izzy was bullied at the moment she started at the school. She continued to be bullied in and out of school by both boys and girls.

"Izzy was bullied for being bright and wearing a longer skirt than others. Izzy said she felt there was no where to go at break time and she said she thought she would have the mickey taken out of her if she went to student support."

The inquest heard Izzy sent a text to her mum on the day of her death asking if the pair could have a long chat when she got home from school.

When she got back they talked and hugged but later in the night Izzy became upset, swore at her mum, and went to her room to listen to music.

Miss Dix said: "She said one particular person had made her life hell in a lesson and it wasn't noticed by the supply teacher in the class.

"I tried to reassure her that it would get better and I gave her a hug."

Miss Dix went to check on Izzy later that evening and found the door blocked. She pushed it several times and eventually managed to get her head round.

She went on in her statement: "I shouted 'oh my God'. Izzy was sat sitting on the floor hanging from her school tie. The tie was tied around the doorknob. She was sat on the floor facing the window, her head was slumped towards the bed."

Miss Dix said she dialled 999 and ran into the street for help.

A neighbour attempted CPR on the teen before police and paramedics arrived.

Izzy was pronounced dead by paramedics at 00.30am on September 18 and a post mortem confirmed the cause of death was hanging.

Police combed through the teen's diary and discovered she had made several previous attempts to take her life.

She had also been involved in a relationship that had just ended.

Detective Constable Detective Constable Diane Brugge of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "There was no suicide note left though her diary revealed it was her third attempt to take her life."

Coroner Ian Arrow for Plymouth, Torbay and South Devon concluded the tragic teen had killed herself.

He said: "There appears from the diary entries that there have been clear tensions in Izzy's life.

"I'm clear from the diary entries that she had significant, emotional, turmoil. I'm satisfied beyond reasonable doubt there was no other party involved and that she has taken the action herself."

Izzy's mother Gabbi launched an anti-bullying campaign in the wake of her girl's death that has attracted support from both PM David Cameron and Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Speaking at the start of last month's Anti-Bullying Week, she warned parents: "Bullying is relentless these days – there is no break from it."

Gabbi also released a haunting poem entitled "I Give Up" that Izzy penned in the weeks before her death as an attempt to express her unhappiness.

In it, the talented youngster described how she was "chiselled away by cruel remarks and perceptions".

Mr Dix was said to be too upset to attend the inquest.

But Annie Hargreaves, a close friend, said they were unhappy the coroner did not cite bullying as a specific cause of death.

She said: "It is the campaign's considered opinion that bullying was a major factor in Izzy taking her own life."

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