A 15-year-old schoolgirl who recently posted a video diary giving advice to victims of bullying and speaking of her own experiences of being bullied has been found dead.
Sinead Taylor, an aspiring dancer, revealed she had been driven to self-harm because of bullying in the past over her tomboy appearance and unwillingness to fit in at school. But she said the bullying had stopped two years ago.
The exact circumstances of her death have not been released. The Metropolitan police would only say: “Police were called by London ambulance service on Friday 23 August at 17.44 to an address in Woolwich [south-east London] where a 15-year-old girl was pronounced dead at the scene. The death is being treated as non-suspicious.”
In an agony aunt-style, nine-minute video diary, posted on 11 June, Sinead said she had been emailed for advice on bullying. She said she had been bullied at primary school and during the first two years at an all-girls secondary school. “I was bullied for a long time,” she said.
“It all got to me at some point and I did some self-harming.” But then had she decided to change and it had all stopped, Sinead said.
She said she had been bullied because of her tomboy appearance, and that people called her lesbian and bisexual.
Sinead, who was a pupil at Corelli College in Blackheath at the time of her death, said: “Self-harming doesn’t help. It just makes it worse. Committing suicide makes it worse. Doing anything to harm yourself is worse, and I have noticed that.
“You have just got to stand up to them and be, like: ‘Look, this is who I am. Take me for who I am or not at all.’”
She ended the video talking happily about her boyfriend of five months and her hopes for a dance career, saying she had applied to a new dance school.
On a Facebook tribute page, a family member, Niall Baker, wrote that Sinead’s family had suffered a huge loss. Appealing for privacy he warned people not to speculate about her death.
Her uncle, Manoj Sangar, a retail worker from New Eltham, south-east London, told the London Evening Standard: “We just cannot believe what has happened here. It seemed Sinead was a happy girl and she was loved by the whole family. She did not appear to have any problems.
“She was lovely and knew her own mind and the difference between right and wrong. We are all devastated and I cannot come to terms with it.”
On Wednesday a memorial was held for Hannah Smith, who took her own life after being a victim of cyberbullying. The 14-year-old was due to start school at Lutterworth College on Thursday.
Her father David Smith and sister joined pupils from Hannah’s Year 9 group, teachers and governors for a moving service at Lutterworth high school, Leicestershire.
Following the 20-minute service, the family placed flowers beside a plaque commemorating the teenager’s life in the school’s garden.
Website Ask.fm launched an independent safety review after coming under scrutiny following Hannah’s death on 2 August.
The teenager’s family said she endured months of torment on the question-and-answer website.
Speaking before the service, the headteacher of Lutterworth High School, Nora Parker, said: “The whole community has been devastated by what has happened and everyone is trying to come to terms with why a young, bright and popular girl who had everything to live for should take this course of action.
“However, we hope the service will be an occasion when people can come together to share their sorrow, remember Hannah and celebrate her life.”
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