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Tuesday, 8 January 2013
13-year-old falls 60ft to her death after suffering sexual assault, and years of bullying
Chevonea Kendall-Bryan had also been forced into performing a sex act on a different boy a month before she died, her inquest was told
Her mother said the teenager was also regularly slapped and tripped by school bullies
Chevonea fell from the window of the flat she lived in and was taken to hospital with severe brain injuries
She died in March 2012 at King’s College Hospital
Tragic: Chevonea Kendall-Bryan, 13, fell 60ft from a London block of flats a month after being bullied into a sex act by two boys, an inquest heard
A 13-year-old girl being bullied at school plunged to her death weeks after being sexually abused at a party, an inquest heard.
Teenager Chevonea Kendall-Bryan fell 60ft from the top floor window of Seldon House in Battersea, south-west London, in March last year
Her friends said Chevonea, who self-harmed, was the victim of school bullying, and it emerged that a month before she died she had been molested by a boy at a party.
The next day she was then forced to perform a sex act on another boy, it was claimed.
Her mother, Amanda Kendall, also told North Westminster Coroners’ Court how her daughter was slapped and pushed by other pupils.
‘Chevonea was very bubbly and always laughing and joking. She was a nice little girl,’ she said.
‘She was getting bullied. It started with name calling but got physical – tripping her up, pushing, slapping.
‘She wasn’t the same bubbly person she was when she started at school. Matters got worse, she started self-harming – cutting herself on her arm.
‘That was a way of taking away the pain of being bullied.’
But despite the bullying easing as Chevonea entered year nine, it got worse a month before she died.
Ms Kendall said her daughter was at a party where she was forced to carry out a sex act on a boy. The next day she was bullied into doing it again on another boy who threatened her and her home, the inquest heard.
North Westminster Coroners’ Court heard how Chevonea suffered cardiac arrest following the fall, and died from severe injuries to the brain.
A witness statement from London Ambulance Service paramedic Ian Kirton said: ‘I was directed to the outside by an unknown member of the public.
‘Turning the corner, I found a young female lying on the ground. She was unresponsive.
‘There was an adult lying by her head, who informed me she had fallen from an open window.
‘The patient had obvious head injuries. Shortly after the medical team arrived, she went into cardiac arrest so life support was undertaken.’
Scene: Miss Kendall-Bryan fell to her death from the window of the flat she lived in Battersea (top right)
Chevonea was rushed to King’s College Hospital still in cardiac arrest, where she died just before 9pm surrounded by her family.
Chevonea’s mother Amanda Kendall claimed she warned her school of an impending tragedy if they did not step in to tackle bullying – six months before the teenager died, the inquest heard.
Ms Kendall and Chevonea’s godmother wrote to the school in October 2010 demanding action over ‘disgusting’ abuse being aimed at the girl.
Claims: Her mother Angela Kendall (pictured) told the Westminster inquest how her daughter had been ‘bubbly’ but bullying had led to her self-harming
‘Will it take a tragedy to happen before the school actively stops these two boys from bullying a vulnerable girl?’, they asked.
The alleged bullies had been asked to sign a contract agreeing not to persecute Chevonea, but the letter accused the school of failing to enforce it or take sterner action.
Ms Kendall also demanded the bullies be excluded immediately.
Her teenage daughter also refused to tell police who had allegedly attacked her and pleaded with her mother to drop the matter, her mother said.
‘She was scared of being called a snitch, a snake, by talking to the police’, she said.
Of the bullying, she told the hearing: ‘She said it was bad, there were hand gestures and calling her names.
‘I wanted to tell the school, but she said ‘what’s the point of telling the school, nothing was ever going to be done about it’.
‘By me telling the school, she didn’t want it to come up again, the allegations of sexual abuse and that.’
The school reported the alleged sex attacks on Chevonea after she pleaded with her mother not to pursue the allegations.
‘I had a conversation with Chevonea saying she didn’t want to report it, but the teacher reported it on my behalf because I didn’t want it to seem like I was going against her wishes’, she said.
Michael John, Chevonea’s step-father, told the inquest he heard the sound of her falling from the window, but said there were no signs of her being depressed or upset that evening.
‘I came in as normal and Chev was in the bedroom playing with the baby’, he said.
‘I asked if she was alright, and she said she was fine.
‘She was laughing and playing with the baby, it thought it was a normal day.’
The inquest has heard Chevonea’s relationship with her mother had broken down since the birth of her baby with Mr John.
The inquest, which is expected to last five days, continues.