Students told of teen’s tragedy

Adrian Derbyshire with students from Myerscough College

Adrian Derbyshire with students from Myerscough College

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An Olympic torch bearer whose daughter took her own life after being bullied online shared his harrowing story with students this week.

Hate crime and anti-bullying campaigner Adrian Derbyshire visited Myerscough College, where he spoke at length about the deadly consequences bullying can have.

His daughter, Julia, was just 16 when Adrian found her body at the family home in Warrington.

Adrian said: “Julia had a secret life with hidden phones and a false identity as a member of website groups which promoted teenage self-harming and suicide.

“If as a trained counsellor and ambassador for anti-stigma, bullying and hate crime I was unaware of what was going on, what chance have other parents got?

“Even though I tried to prohibit unsuitable use of the internet she was able to access these through other sources such as friends.

“She was able to talk with and ‘meet’ strangers online who encouraged her to self-harm without thinking of the consequences.

“I can certainly tell any young person out there, there is nothing beautiful about self-harming and taking your own life.”

Adrian estimates he has spoken to 150,000 youngsters in recent years.