15-year-old Brandon Rayat ended his own life after relentless bullying from classmates, which included threatening to rape his mother.
The teenager suffered months of torture, being taunted by bullies who called him a paedophile and a ‘faggot’ every day for more than a year.
A social media account was even set up, in the name of sexual predator Jimmy Saville, from which Brandon was bombarded with messages.
In one instance, Brandon was shown a picture of his house on Google maps after an ICT lesson, and the bullies told him, “We know where you live. We are going to rape your mum.”
The Leicester school boy wished to be a doctor when he grew up.
“The bullies got in his head and sucked the life out of him. It just wasn’t Brandon,” said Brandon’s mother, Mina, who left her job as a hairdresser to support her son.
“Brandon was a handsome boy and a lot of girls took a shine to him as he got older, I think the bullies were jealous of that.”
“He even shaved his hair off so he could be like them, he just wanted to be accepted. He wanted to go to university and become a doctor, he had his whole life planned out,” she added.
“But these boys were relentless.”
Brandon felt he could no longer go to school following the physical, psychological and online abuse.
In April 2015, he suffered a ‘breakdown’, and his parents realized how serious things he become.
Mum Mina said, “He had started telling me he didn’t want to go to school and that he didn’t like the people there, but I didn’t realise how bad things were until he had a breakdown.”
“He came running into the house one day and he was screaming, “I want to die, I want to die”. I had never seen him like this before, so I made a GP appointment.”
Brandon was referred to The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), which recommended that he return to school.
In December 2015, Brandon was prescribed anti-depressants, which Mina says only made him feel worse.
Brandon first attempted to take his life in January of last year.
Over an eight-month period, the anti-depressant dosage was increased four times.
Coroners concluded, in an inquest held last month, that opportunities had been missed by mental health services to assess Brandon face-to-face after he had told a psychiatrist that he had tried to strangle himself 11 days before his death.
“I told the mental health service I was worried he was planning to do something becaues he was slowly throwing things away and giving away his belongings, he had nothing in his room,” said Mina.
“I felt that he was preparing to take his own life, but they told me just to keep an eye on him every 15 minutes.”
Brandon’s parents, Mina and Raj, have now started the Stop Ignoring Me campaign, which aims to criminalise bullying and introduce mental health and anti-bullying training into the school curriculum.
“Brandon was always making us laugh, even through his illness,” Mina said.
“It has been an emotionally draining process, but we will continue to fight for him.”