Police investigating the suicide of an eleven-year-old boy believe that he may have been beaten up by older children hours before he was found hanged in his bedroom.
Police are investigating claims he was assaulted by sixth form students possibly aged between 16-18 years old at lunch time on the day of his death.
Asama Javed, whose nephew attended the same school, said her nephew witnessed the attack on Asad Khan at Beckfoot Upper Heaton that day.
She said she had also seen a video showing some boys telling Asad to lie down and encouraging others to jump on him.
Mrs Javed said: ‘My nephew said he saw some sixth formers hitting Asad in the playground at lunchtime. He told a teacher, who said they would be dealt with on Friday.’
Mrs Javed said: ‘I have been to see Asad’s mother and she is in complete and utter shock. She is not eating or talking. It’s horrific.
‘These things need to be investigated and I am going to raise this with the school. I am not saying that any person is to blame for what happened, but if we can learn lessons from this tragedy to identify where we can help vulnerable children, we must do so.
‘Our children need to be educated so they are confident to tell someone about it if they are having problems.’
Detective Inspector Alan Flynn who is leading the investigation said it would take some time to process the large amount of information from the public.
He said: ‘There is a lot of ongoing work to clarify what was going on in this young lad’s life prior to his death.
‘We are looking for information from the community and we are setting up a specialist email address for the public so they can provide any information or evidence, including visual, that could assist us in understanding what has occurred.’
He added: ‘We know this young lad was unfortunately found hanging by his family.
‘There is nothing suspicious in the tragic death itself. Clearly we are trying to establish what he was feeling, and what was going on in his life before he died, for the sake of his family, and the coroner.’
‘Clearly we are receiving reports that there may have been a bullying issue. I cannot corroborate that. If we receive information that he was being bullied, we will look into that.
‘Bullying is not a criminal offence. But if there is criminal behaviour, like assault, we will look at it.’
Simon Wade, headteacher, said Asad had only been a pupil at the school for three weeks.
A statement posted to its website said: ‘It is with great sadness that we learnt last night of the death of Asad Khan one of the school’s newest students.
‘The school is united in its grief at this sad time.
‘The school community is working together as students, parents and staff come to terms with these events. All our thoughts are with Asad’s family at this terribly difficult time.’