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Kieren: Victim of a hate campaign

A teenager killed himself after he was subjected to a hate campaign, an inquest heard.

Kieren Whalley, 17, received threats from gangs and was made to do press-ups – with mobile phone footage posted on the website YouTube.

Kieren, from Lostock View, Lostock Hall, was found hanging in Sherdley Woods by a dog walker on June 5.

The former Astley Park School pupil was accused of being a "grass" after he was charged with an alleged robbery of a pizza delivery driver in April.

His two co-accused were remanded in custody but Kieren, who had never been in trouble with the police before, was granted bail with a curfew condition.

Kieren's dad Phil, who works at Leyland Trucks, told how his "personality changed" after his arrest and the threats began.

He told the hearing at Preston Coroner's Court: "He said his (co-defendants) were getting people from everywhere in Bamber Bridge and Lostock Hall to beat him up."

And he added: "I heard there were some lads made him do press-ups and put it on YouTube, but then it was taken off."

The teenager was so afraid of the threats he asked his grandmother who lived in Accrington if he could move in with her, he added.

Mr Whalley also told how Kieren had asked his brother Paddy how to make a noose and told his siblings that hanging would be a "cool thing" to do. "I never thought he was serious."

Preston Coroner's Court was told how the Preston College student, who had learning difficulties, had hoped to join the Army after finishing school but failed the selection test.

He began spending his days in bed and his evenings out with friends getting drunk.

Det Insp Hazel Stewart, of Lancashire Police's public protection unit, told the court it was the combination of the up-coming court case, his rejection by the Army and the hate campaign which led to his death.

She said: "He became involved in criminality which was out of his league and he was concerned about the punishment.

"He was dealing with threats from a third party which he took seriously.

"Kieren dealt with his feelings on his own and has taken his own life."

Investigations of the family laptop showed he had been researching suicide methods on the Internet in the days before he died.

A post mortem by Dr Jane Edwards at the Royal Preston Hospital concluded there were no suspicious circumstances.

Coroner Sian Jones ruled Kieren took his own life.

After the hearing, Mr Whalley said: "Kids are hanging around in gangs at night and something has got to be done about it.

"You don't think it will happen to your kids but do you know where they are at night?"

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