Southsea teenager, 13, accidentally took his own life in 'desperately tragic' incident, inquest hears

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A ‘happy and popular’ teenager from Southsea died after copying a Snapchat video, an inquest heard.

Mustapha Ibrahim, 13, was found motionless in his bedroom at home on Sunday, May 8 last year. He was taken to Southampton General Hospital but died the following day.

An inquest into his death found that Mustapha was copying a Snapchat video he filmed of a friend with a ligature around his neck.

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Portsmouth Coroner's Court in Guildhall Square. Picture: Malcolm Wells (180405-3355)Portsmouth Coroner's Court in Guildhall Square. Picture: Malcolm Wells (180405-3355)
Portsmouth Coroner's Court in Guildhall Square. Picture: Malcolm Wells (180405-3355)

The boy’s mother, Sosan Abdullah, told the court she believes Mustapha ‘wanted to repeat the video they did before and record himself and things went out of hand’.

The 39-year-old added: ‘I do not believe he intended to do that because he said to his friend they were going to meet at the park.’

The friend from the video told police he did not put his head through the ligature on purpose for the video but said he and Mustapha often made videos while playing around, the inquest heard.

He said Mustapha was ‘a happy person’ and ‘must have just been being silly and just got stuck’, adding they had made arrangements to meet up that day.

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The video was not part of any online trend, the inquest heard.

Nick Giles, headteacher at Mustapha’s school, Miltoncross Academy, said: ‘Mustapha was a popular student who had many friends. There was no evidence or suggestion Mustapha was the victim of bullying.’

Coroner Christopher Wilkinson said post-mortem tests showed Mustapha died as a result of lack of oxygen to the brain brought about by cardiac arrest caused by hanging from the ligature, which had been used as a toy and foot rest.

Recording a verdict of misadventure, Mr Wilkinson said: ‘There is no evidence that Mustapha intended to harm himself. I am satisfied to rule out the possibility that he intended to take his own life.

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‘I am equally satisfied from the evidence, because it needed to be considered, that there doesn’t appear to be any evidence of any link to an online blackout challenge.

‘I cannot exclude that possibility entirely because they all had access to the internet but the evidence doesn’t suggest the events were the immediate result of that.’