Ateenage boy who wanted a ‘six pack’ accidentally strangled himself on a pull-up bar, an inquest has heard.
The family of the 13 year-old have spoken of their relief after it was ruled that their son had not taken his own life, but it was in fact a “horrific accident”.
Harry Rock, from Eastbourne in East Sussex, died after an exercise move went wrong when a dressing gown sash got caught around his face.
In the inquest coroner James Healy-Pratt ruled that the teenager was not suicidal, saying that the boy had died of inadvertent suspension in “a tragic experiment that went sadly wrong.”
A written statement from Harry’s GP confirmed that there was no mention of mental issues in his medical history and police found nothing on his phone or social media to suggest he was suicidal.
His mother, Amanda Rock, said: “I knew all along he hadn’t killed himself. There was no evidence to support it. He was a normal, happy 13-year-old boy.
“I truly believe it was a horrific accident.
“He was fun, loving, caring – he’d always open the door for you. He was a gentleman, not loud, not lairy.”
Helga Edwards, a friend of the family, told court: “Harry always struck me as a very well-adjusted boy.
“I am 100 per cent convinced that it was an accident and it would be a very cruel misjudgment for anyone to state that he took his own life.”
The home-schooled teenager, who loved cats and video games and was preparing for his GCSEs, had had a religious studies class on the morning of his death.
His tutor, Rowanne Brown, did notice a bit of “teenage angst” over his study, and said he got “visibly upset” over being left out of a holiday which his dad and stepmother arranged with their other children.
His mother found him after a home tutoring session and cut him down before performing CPR, but Harry was pronounced dead when he arrived at hospital, on March 20, 2017.
Ms Rock told the court: “I thought it was a joke at first because he appeared to be smiling, but then I realised it was his tongue hanging out.”
A fundraising page in Harry’s memory has raised more than £1,500 for Cats Protection and You Raise Me Up, a charity supporting families who have lost young adults.