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Devastated family of boy, 14, who lay in front of train watched by classmates say he was ‘shy, sensitive little soul’ who was ‘bullied at school’

THE devastated family of a "bullied" 14-year-old schoolboy have told how he was a "sensitive little soul", after he lay down on the tracks and was killed by a train.

Sam Connor died on Monday afternoon in the tragedy at Chertsey station, which was seen by 50 horrified classmates.

Deborah Barrett, the first wife of Sam's dad, James, told the MailOnline: "It's just so sad. It's so awful, isn't it? My three girls are Sam's half sisters, they are all so upset.

"It's horrible. You can't imagine, can you? I've just spoken to my middle one and she said he just lay down on the tracks.

"He was a sensitive little soul, a cute little thing who was into gaming. He was funny and sarcastic with a great sense of humour."

Mum to Sam's three half-sisters, she added: "This is so horrible for the family. They loved him, they were all quite close.

"There were six kids altogether, they are all quite close, the children, and Sam was the youngest.

"Sophie, my youngest daughter, rang me on Monday and told me what Sam had done, and said he'd been bullied at school. Then why weren't the school doing anything? It doesn't bear thinking about. It's awful."

The teenage boy, reportedly being bullied at Salesian School, handed over his mobile phone and school bag to horrified classmates.

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Sobbing pals screamed "I saw it, I saw it" after the Year 9 pupil lay down on the tracks before being struck at 4pm on Monday at Chertsey station.

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.

Cops were called to usher them away from the horrific scene so specialist body recovery experts could remove his remains from the tracks.

One of Sam's friends said he was being bullied and would sit on his own in the playground at break time.

It is understood a scrawled note - believed to be a suicide note - was found nearby.

A family friend 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.”

HEARTFELT TRIBUTES

Devastated pals have described Sam as "bright and popular" and revealed the teen was one of the "nicest and most charming" boys at a local breakdancing club.

One posted a heartbreaking tribute on Facebook, alongside a photo of Sam with his breakdancing pals.

He wrote: "Cannot not even think of an emotion to describe how I am right now apart from just heartbroken. No parent should ever have to bury their own child. The child should always bury the parents.

"The crying with happiness, the laughs, the dancing will never be the same without you. Rest in peace Sam you absolute legend.

"Breaking isn't going to be the same with you gone. Hope you're still dancing out there in the skies."

TRAGIC SAM 'WAS BULLIED'

The owner of a convenience store close to the Connor family home in Ashford 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.

"[He]handed his bag and phone to his friends and then lay down on the track in front of the train.

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

"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."

YOU'RE NOT ALONE

EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society - from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others... You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

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.”

SOBBING PALS CALLED HIS NAME

Horrified witnesses also claimed sobbing pupils had called out Sam's name after he was struck by the train.

One passenger, who was on the train when it hit the boy, told the Mail Online: "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'."

DEVASTATED

A school spokesman told the newspaper they had "no record" of the boy being bullied and couldn't make any further comment.

Headteacher 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 9 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.

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

The annual sports day was due to take place yesterday 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 on the tracks.
"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."

Yesterday, a 70-year-old man died after being found on the tracks at nearby Woking but the two incidents are not being linked.

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans on (free) 116123


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