Archie Battersbee tragically died from prank or experiment gone wrong

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    A coroner has concluded that 12-year-old Archie Battersbee died “inadvertently during a prank or experiment that went wrong”.

    Senior coroner Lincoln Brookes of Essex Coroners Court told an inquest that was held on February 7 and 8 that while there was evidence that although Archie experienced low moods in the last 12 months of his life, there was no sign he intended to harm himself on the day he was injured.

    His mum, Holly Dance, had asked Essex Police, which was investigating his death, to examine Archie's phone for any signs of unusual online activity.

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    Essex's senior coroner Lincoln Brookes said that police found several voice notes that seemed to be a "heated exchange of bravado" where threats were exchanged.

    Police told the inquest, which was held in Chelmsford in Essex over the last two days, that a voice note from April 3, just a few days before Archie’s untimely death, was sent to him, in which a young male voice is heard saying: "Oi Archie, do you know why you're angry?

    "Because your mum wanted you to be an abortion”, the unnamed person added.

    The coroner said that there was no evidence to back up his mum’s fear that he may have suffered brain damage after taking part in an online challenge.

    His mum had previously told the inquest: "I still don't know if Archie was trying the blackout challenge on April 7 or before, I still don't know what he was watching on TikTok.

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    "He hated bullying and loud shouting. I can see that he might possibly be influenced, even though he knew right from wrong, if that's what peers and social media were telling him to do”, she added.

    The inquest had previously heard how his mum had found her son unresponsive by the staircase in their home on April 7. 2022 before running outside and screaming for help.

    The schoolboy died on August 6. 2022 when doctors at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel made the decision to take him off life support, despite his parents' protests.

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    His parents lost the legal battle in the courts, when a High Court judge ruled on 5 August that the doctors were allowed to make the decision for the parents.

    Dr Malik Ramadhan, the medical director of the hospital, but not one of Archie's treating clinicians, said that when Archie arrived from Southend Hospital there were "signs of neurological damage".

    "An initial electrical test of his brain showed there was no activity”, he added.

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