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Boy found hanged in his room

By Adam Guest, Royston Reporter Friday 8th February 2013
Ashley Banks.

The devestated family of a Barnsley teenager who was found hanged in his bedroom believe he could have been driven to suicide because he was being bullied.


Ashley Banks, 14, was found at his family home in Coronation Road, Hoyland on Saturday evening.


He had not left his room all day and his family just thought he was playing on his games console.


But when dad, Shane, went upstairs to tell him that his beloved Barnsley FC had beaten Blackpool, he was unconscious.


Ashley - a pupil at the Horizon Community College in Barnsley - had only started at the school in September after leaving Kirk Balk and transferring to Kingstone before its closure.


He had been diagnosed with the behavioural disorder ADHD and was undergoing treatment.


His family say he never told them he was the victim of any bullying but friends have come forward since his death to claim he was being singled out at Horizon.


Shane said there were no other obvious reasons why Ashley - a 'cheeky and cheerful lad' - would have wanted to harm himself.


"He was a lovely lad… You just don't dream of something like this happening to a young boy of 14 years of age when his family loved him and his friends loved him.


"We never thought he would have done something like this - it must have been on his mind to do something like he did. All I can put it down to is him being bullied and nothing has been done at school."


Shane said Ashley had moved from Kirk Balk to Kingstone School in July because of his bad behaviour.


He said he did not know his son was being bullied although Ashley tried to deal with problems himself and would not express his feelings.


The night before his death, the family had enjoyed a takeaway together and Ashley's mood seemed to change.


Shane added: "He was himself but then he just went quiet now and again. We didn't take much notice at the time then but you could tell the difference."


A meeting with staff at Horizon College is being arranged to investigate the bullying claims.


Paul Gallagher, co-principal at Horizon, said Ashley seemed very upbeat when he left the school on Friday and there was no evidence to suggest he was being bullied.


"The evidence from all the professionals who worked with him in and out of school suggested things were going well at school and there were signs of improvement.


"It's a sad day for the college and the community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family."


Ashley lived with his parents Shane and Donna and his two sisters, Charmaine, 16, and Bethany, nine.


On Sunday at 1pm, dozens of Ashley's friends are expected to take part in a tribute walk and scooter ride from Kirk Balk School to raise money for the funeral which will be at St Peter's Church, Hoyland next Friday at 1pm.

Posted by tessie63 I Fri 8th Feb 2013 at 11:53am

so very sad, my heart truly goes out to this young lads family, i myself know the heartache caused by suicide, my nephew commited suicide nearly 5 years ago, our whole family have been left totally devastated by this.

Posted by Bridget I Fri 8th Feb 2013 at 4:10pm

Very saddened to hear this news, it can be so isolating at school when you are being bullied. RIP young Ashley. Thoughts go out to the friends and family.

Posted by shirley jeffcock I Fri 8th Feb 2013 at 8:09pm

such a sad loss bless him i hate bullys rest in peace little man they cant hurt you no more love to the family of this youngster xxx

Posted by tanya I Fri 8th Feb 2013 at 8:34pm

Rip lil man, maybe one day someone or something will stop the bullies, but the loss of so many lifes have already been taken. My thought are with ur family, fly safe xxx

Posted by Billie S I Sat 9th Feb 2013 at 7:45pm

Yes, of course this is very sad. But there is no evidence that bullying was the cause, so let's not jump to conclusions unless this is proved.

Posted by unknown I Sat 9th Feb 2013 at 8:18pm

look here billie s. r you one of the bullies friends.

of course this poor little lad was suffering in silence.

i got bullied for 3 years when i went to school, its not nice.

i thaught the same as many other kids take my life and it will stop,thays not the answer! i spoke up i spoke to family and friends.

many kids dont have that option.

so before you start with your pathetic comment just think of what this poor lads mum n dad is going through.

learn to keep ya oppinions to ya sen.

R.I.P little man xx

Posted by WishWeHadKnown! I Sat 9th Feb 2013 at 11:38pm

I have just found out about how this young lad was pushed to the edge to eventually take his own so very sad and what a waste of a young life!

I must say some of the comments in the Chronicle by Ashleys "family" really do disgust me!

This lad was a regular evening visitor in pubs in Hoyland....ask yourself why he sought refuge in pubs at nght even though he was under age.

He always said "I'm meeting my Dad here"...obviously wishful thinking on his part seeing as his real Dad(and Mother) failed him!

He was even found late one winter night inbetween the pub wheelie bins trying to keep warm....why wasn't Ashley at home in bed Shane Banks???

When Ashley did come in the pub he was always very polite and was never any trouble whatsoever.

Everyone took a shine to him even though he really should have been at home with "loving" parents......

If only we had an idea what was going on at home before Ashley decided to take this dreadful act then we could have possibly helped more...

The last time he visited the pub was only a few of weeks ago when he came and sat near us watching the midweek football on the TV. and again I can only stress how polite Ashley sign at all of this ADHD(???) mentioned....more a very lonely young lad in need of company than anything else!

I've lived near Coronation Road in Hoyland for quite a number of years(at times,like now,it's too near and too many years to be honest due to the number of social failures that get housed there and then ultimately breed there!!!) and I can honestly say Ashley was a shining star considering who brought him into this world....and that's purely down to him and not his parents or family!

Rest in peace Ashley and be assured Karma will do it's best to the family members who failed you!

Posted by WishWeHadKnown! I Sat 9th Feb 2013 at 11:54pm

Why was Ashley always in local pubs at night when only 14 year old,hiding inbetween wheelie bins on winter nights to keep warm if he'd got such a "loving family"

Rest in peace young man and rest assured Karma will sort those who failed you!

Posted by winnie I Sun 10th Feb 2013 at 11:18pm

oh my god, the last comment..on here, repeated several times. If its true then the 9 year old needs looking after. if its not true shame on you for writing that about 2 parents who have just lost their boy..

If you knew it was goin on y didnt you do anything about it?, Thats what social services are for

Posted by winnie I Sun 10th Feb 2013 at 11:42pm

I know if I had seen this goin on with my own eyes, I would not have sat back and just complained about it. I would have reported it, if i had been wrong then so be it, better to be jumping gun than watch, complain and do nothing.

Social Services dont have a good name or a good track record but surely its better to report it than do nothing!!!. Im am by no means saying this is your fault in anyway wat so ever, but hell why didnt you report it? Maybe it would have been enough to keep the lad safer

Posted by DIANE I Mon 11th Feb 2013 at 9:32am

This is such a sad tragedy, and it is heartwarming to know his friends are trying to raise money for his funeral.

However, my husband's friend works at the school and told us on Friday that they only received one email from the head of year 9 about what happened, and then another to say not to talk to pupils about it, and this was all last Monday with nothing since. Also, the evidence the co-principal says that there isn't any of could be found in 1) the tragedy itself and 2) the fact his friends who knew him best say he was being bullied.

I often drive past the school at 2.30 in the afternoon on my way to work and have to say I could fully see some of the pupils as bullies.

Posted by Smith Smithee I Mon 11th Feb 2013 at 10:53am

I feel so sad for this young lad and his family. I also feel very sad for the school and its pupils. The problem, in my opinion, goes much wider than one would think. Because of the terrible council cuts that have hit Barnsley there are no support agencies that the school and parents can use to help. I know for a fact that the educayional psychology service in Barnsley are down to a couple of people who will spend all their time writing reports for statutory purposes. Usually these kind of services are wiorking with individual children putting in programmes of support, and working with schools on things like anti-bullying schemes. I think the tradegy needs a full investigation by Ofsted as to why this happened... it goes beyond the immediately obvious. God bless that poor little lad.

Posted by smith smithee I Mon 11th Feb 2013 at 2:22pm

In fact I have just read Ofsted safeguarding Ispection paper for Barnsley. It is classed as 'INADEQUATE'. He didn't stand a chance.

Posted by neil bouskill I Fri 15th Feb 2013 at 9:17am

do you even know your kids 6 years today i lost my son through exactly the same way through bullying that noone even seemed to know about but yet i had been into school on a number of occasions and also had to have a hospital trip due to the bullying i didnt live with my son and there was no indication that he was going to do as he did the parents of this young lad will be going through hell please do not pull anyone down that you dont really know they will already be blaming themselves r.i.p little one god bless to you and your family xxxxxx

Posted by Dragon Fly I Sun 17th Feb 2013 at 12:59am

I dont understand why the article did not give any details about " how the little boy was found hanged in his room and how he managed to do it ".

Posted by Katie I Wed 20th Feb 2013 at 6:18pm

I was not a close friend of Ashley's but close enough to see that he was not a horrible boy at all there was no reason for anyone hate or bully him as he was just an innocent little boy with no hatred for anyone, and loved his peers. And after maybe only a few weeks of going to kingstone school he settled in nicely, and made lots of new friends, i do really hate the fact that he was bullied, as i know that all his true friend and i were in floods of tears was the news was broke. God bless to Ashley and to his friends and family.

Posted by Sallie I Fri 22nd Feb 2013 at 3:22am

What a very sad thing to read , I offer my sympathy to his family , relatives neighbours and school friends.What retributions and disiplinary actions have been taken or addressed by his bullies?It saddens my heart to know this poor young man took his own life due to the actions of others.

Make an example out of the perpetrators and show the rest of the country that harrassment and bullying are very serious and not accepted in togays society.

.Procecute the aggressors.

Posted by sheereen I Thu 18th Apr 2013 at 4:33pm


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