Boy, 10, died after getting dressing gown cord caught around his neck

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A 10-year-old South Yorkshire schoolboy died in a ‘tragic accident’ after hanging himself with his dressing gown cord.

Todd Horsfield was found in his bedroom by his sister after getting caught in the cord, which he hung from the ceiling and often used as a swing to rest his weight on while playing computer games from his cabin bed.

His inquest heard the accident happened on Monday, March 24, at his family home in Sackup Lane, Darton, Barnsley – just hours after he had been named ‘Star Pupil Of The Day’ at his school.

Todd had finished his day at Darton Primary School and, after attending an after-school club, had been back home, yesterday’s hearing was told.

He had asked to go out and play with friends, but was told by his mother Louise he had to tidy his room.

The inquest heard Todd had gone upstairs in a ‘bad mood’ and refused to have any tea.

Just after 8pm, his sister discovered him with the cord around his neck.

His mum attempted resuscitation and an ambulance was called, but Todd could not be saved.

He was pronounced dead in hospital at 9.30pm.

Todd’s family were too upset to attend the hearing, but the inquest heard from Detective Constable Darren McConnell, their family liaison officer from South Yorkshire Police.

DC McConnell said police investigations had found there had been no issues with bullying or any other problems at school.

He said that on the day of his death, Todd had been named star pupil and was ‘happy and proud he had achieved that’.

DC McConnell said no reason had been uncovered to suggest Todd would want to take his own life.

He told the inquest: “My view and after speaking to my colleagues is that we believe this was an accident.”

DC McConnell said there had been no suspicious circumstances suggesting anyone else having involvement in Todd’s death and police had found ‘nothing of any relevance’ to suggest his death had been a deliberate act.

He said there was no internet access on Todd’s computer games console, ruling out the influence of any website in what happened.

DC McConnell said: “He was a happy young boy who had no problems or issues brought to the family’s attention.

“He enjoyed his family and also enjoyed going to school.”

Assistant coroner Louise Slater, recording a narrative verdict, said she was able to ‘completely discount’ the idea Todd had taken his life.

She said: “Todd had this swing by his bed and had been known to use it to support his body weight whilst playing on the console.

“This is a particularly tragic accident. There are no easy or pleasant inquests, but certainly ones that will stay with you longer.

“I can’t imagine what grief the family has gone through.

“I hope my ruling gives them some comfort today.”