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Family of bullied teen Martin Holder struggling to understand why he died

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: November 20, 2012

Martin Holder

Martin Holder

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THE family of a teenager who was found dead in his home said they believe he took his own life, but added they struggled to understand why.

Martin Holder's mother Marj Hamlet was numb with shock as she spoke about continuing on without Martin and the massive hole his death had left in their lives.

She spoke frankly of the bullying the 16-year-old had endured at school, and said more needed to be done to stamp bullying out across the country.

Ms Hamlet said: "Most of the photographs we have of him show him smiling.

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"It's all just such a shock.

"The bullying was part of it and a part of him, but we don't know if that was the reason behind it. We are waiting to see what the police find on his computer and his phone, and the inquest. We need to hear what they say."

The family would like to put together a memorial to their son – having released a memorial lantern at Cleeve Hill on Sunday night – with a gig to be played at the 2 Pigs on Friday by his former band Within These Walls.

His mother, who lives in Whaddon, said: "There will be other bands, but the whole night is in tribute to him."

She said the family was still thinking about a more permanent memorial, potentially with a musical link.

"We would like a musical sculpture put up somewhere, although we're not sure where yet, for people to go to remember Martin," she said.

She added that bullying was a problem in schools around the country, and Martin had been verbally bullied "a lot".

She said bullies at Cleeve School had grabbed his lunch, and taken his bag.

"He's not the only one being bullied around the country. So many people have written on Facebook that their children are being bullied too," she said. "Schools have bullying policies in place, but bullying goes on."

A statement from Cleeve School said: "We would like to reiterate our sincere condolences to Martin's family for their loss.

"As a school community, Cleeve does not tolerate bullying. Both staff and students work hard to prevent bullying and respond quickly and effectively to rare incidents that occur.

"We have a strong pastoral system that provides extensive support for students and we take robust action in order to prevent any further instances.

"The school also takes an active stance in promoting the anti-bullying message through a range of activities including assemblies, tutor time and year group events.

"We provide a number of ways in which students can report bullying and want all students to play their part in helping the school to continue to be a caring, safe and inclusive environment."

The funeral will be held at 2.30pm on Monday, November 26, at Cheltenham Crematorium. There is no set dress code.

There will be family flowers only, but funeral directors Mason and Stokes will be accepting donations towards Martin's memorial.

All are welcome after at the King's Arms in Prestbury.

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  • chr1582  |  November 20 2012, 3:36PM

    RIP Martin and my thoughts go out to his family and friends. No one deserves to be bullied and it's such a shame the world is like this. Sadly though most bullying goes un noticed to those who aren't in that bullying circle and this is such a tragic loss of life for someone with his whole life in front of him. I really hope these bullies take this sad episode to their graves with them!

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  • Studley1975  |  November 20 2012, 1:02PM

    This Is A Heartbreaking Story Of How Cruel People Can Be & How Bullying Has Such A Devastating Effect On People's Lives. More Clearly Needs To Be Done,As One Loss Of Life Is Far Too Many. I'm So Dreadfully Sorry For The Family & Of Course Poor Martin. Just Awful. :0(

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  • MIMI1900  |  November 20 2012, 12:31PM

    Im so sorry for the family and for martin. Im afraid that what is printed on the school policies regarding these issues look better in black and white than what is actually practiced. Most children of school ages do not like to admit that they are being bullied.

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  • CrowDog  |  November 20 2012, 11:19AM

    Being a Former Cleeve student i can comfirm there was always problems with people being bullied but cleeve school do try and address the problems before they escalated. I left school 3 years ago, and i still to this day remember martin from when he was in year 7 such a happy child "it seemed" i really do feel for this family, May this boy rest in peace, and my heart goes out to this young mans Family, So Sad x

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  • Takeaway22  |  November 20 2012, 10:56AM

    This is a terribly sad story and no words can comfort the family and friends of Martin. Rest in peace young man. I agree with luke10812 on his comment by Cleeve School especially when Rob Broadbridge (Head Teacher) made a comment to TiG this month stating that there was a 'minor cases of bullying'. http://tinyurl.com/cm2pzuw

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  • Sooty24  |  November 20 2012, 10:37AM

    Terribly sad and such a waste of a young and promising life. My heart goes out to Martin's family. Having had a suicide in my family I know exactly how they will be feeling and how they will never understand why they lost their son. May you rest in peace young man, god bless you xx

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  • Dr_Hfrrrrr  |  November 20 2012, 10:14AM

    I hope that the cowards that bullied him never have a peaceful nights sleep for the rest of their lives.

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  • luke10812  |  November 20 2012, 10:06AM

    Very sad case. Not wonderfully impressed by the school's statement which feels a little half-hearted and doesn't serve to indicate what they're doing to look into what happened and why.

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