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‘Bullied’ teen died in front of classmates

A “bullied” British 14-year-old boy was killed by a train moments after he handed over his mobile phone and school bag to horrified classmates.

Sobbing students reportedly screamed, “I saw it, I saw it” after year nine student Sam Connor lay down on the tracks before being struck at 4pm (1am AEST) on Monday at railway station in Surrey, 90 minutes outside of London.

According to The Sun, more than 50 children and adults from Roman Catholic school Salesian were understood to have been standing on the platform at the time of the tragedy.

Police were called to usher them away from the horrific scene.

One of Sam’s friends reportedly told The Sun that he was being bullied and would sit on his own in the playground at lunchtime.

It is understood a note was found nearby.

A family friend reportedly told The Sun: “Sam was being bullied at school but I don’t know how, lots of children are bullied but it must have been horrendous for him to resort to this.”

Sam Connor with his mum, Christine, and brother, james. Picture: Facebook
media_cameraSam Connor with his mum, Christine, and brother, james. Picture: Facebook

HEARTFELT TRIBUTES

Devastated friends have described Sam as “bright and popular” and revealed the teenager was one of the “nicest and most charming” boys at a local breakdancing club.

The owner of a local shop close to the Connor family home also spoke of his shock at the 14-year-old’s death.

He said: “He was always so polite and a really lovely lad. I just can’t believe what has happened.”

Others have described how Sam was being bullied, which the school has denied.

One boy told the Daily Mail: “It’s horrible. I have friends who were there and saw the whole thing.

“Some of the older pupils were really good – they held everyone back and made sure everyone else was safe.

Sam Connor was described as “charming and nice”. Picture: Facebook
media_cameraSam Connor was described as “charming and nice”. Picture: Facebook

“They said he was being bullied. It’s only four days until school breaks up and you’d have thought he’d be able to get help.”

More than 25 floral tributes have been left on the gates of the station today, with one reading: “So sorry that life wasn’t kinder to you sweetheart. RIP Angel.”

Another friend, Teri Jones, added: “R. I. P little man. Find your happiness in heaven.”

In the wake of the tragedy on Monday, a sweet shop worker said tearful children ran screaming into her store, which is opposite the station.

She said: “It was so sad. Children were running around crying and screaming.

“One young girl came in the shop in tears and was screaming, ‘I’ve seen it all’.

“We looked out and saw the train on the platform and put two and two together.

“The kids on the platform didn’t know what to do.”

Horrified witnesses also claimed sobbing pupils had called out Sam’s name as he was killed.

One passenger, who was on the incoming train, told the Daily Mail: “The train stopped very suddenly with only one carriage alongside the platform.

“I thought maybe one of the kids had dropped their phone as they were all looking down at the wheels of the carriage.

“We saw some of the girls starting to cry; we saw some of the boys leaning down, literally on their knees, calling down between the train and the tracks, calling, ‘Sam, Sam.’”

Sam Connor (far right) belonged to a local breakdancing group. Picture: Facebook
media_cameraSam Connor (far right) belonged to a local breakdancing group. Picture: Facebook

DEVASTATED

A school spokesman told the newspaper they had “no record” of the teen being bullied and couldn’t make any further comment.

Principal James Kibble said the school is “devastated” and it will be holding a series of assemblies to help students come to terms with the tragedy.

He wrote: “We were devastated to find out that, following an incident at Chertsey station, one of our year nine students died this afternoon.

“This is an incredibly difficult situation for everyone, but knowing the faith, compassion and strength of our school community, I am confident that we will work together to support one another.

“This will start from first thing tomorrow, and will be holding a series of assemblies to talk to the students about what has happened and how we can collectively come to terms with this tragedy.

The Chertsey railway station in Surrey where Sam Connor died. Picture: Supplied
media_cameraThe Chertsey railway station in Surrey where Sam Connor died. Picture: Supplied

“We would ask that our community joins together to remember the student and their family in their prayers at this incredibly sad time.”

The school’s annual sports day was due to take place on Tuesday but was cancelled after the tragedy.

An educational psychologist and counsellors are on site to help the youngsters.

A British Transport Police spokesman said: “Officers were called to Chertsey station at 4pm following reports of a casualty.

“Paramedics also attended and sadly a person has been pronounced dead at the scene.

“The incident is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner.”

If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636. If it is an emergency please call 000.

This story was originally published in The Sun and is reprinted with permission.

Originally published as ‘Bullied’ teen died in front of classmates

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