Mother of ‘perfectionist’ 16-year-old found hanged after struggling to cope with GCSE exam stress breaks down in tears at her inquest as she reveals the schoolgirl dreamed of being an actress
- Aeryn Bond dropped out of school because of the strain of doing her GCSEs
- The 16-year-old was found dead in her bedroom in Newport, Isle of Wight
- Her mother Ellen Bond told her inquest Aeryn wanted to become an actress
- The inquest heard Aeryn had plans to write a series of five fantasy novels
The mother of a ‘perfectionist’ schoolgirl who was found hanged ahead of her GCSE exams today fought back tears as she told an inquest her daughter had been a ‘quiet but happy girl’ who dreamed of being an actress.
Heartbroken Ellen Bond fought back tears as she revealed her talented 16-year-old daughter Aeryn intended to pursue drama and was desperate to ‘learn the craft’ of performing.
However, the inquest heard the youngster had been struggling with anxiety and depression.
Ellen and Jason Bond, pictured outside the inquest of their daughter Aeryn
The schoolgirl, who was still wearing her pyjamas, had been dead for a number of hours when she was found at her home in Ryde, Isle of Wight, on February 22, last year.
The teenager had ‘exceptionally high standards’ for herself and felt like she had failed, having stopped attending school because she did not want to take her GCSE exams.
Giving evidence at Isle of Wight Coroner’s Court today, Mrs Bond wept as she spoke about her daughter.
When asked about Aeryn, Mrs Bond said: ‘She was a bright, articulate girl with a vivid imagination. She had a strength of character behind her quietness.
‘She was a perfectionist. Before the depression, she had a quiet self-assuredness to her. When she was younger, Aeryn was a quiet girl but she was happy.
‘I think she had struggles with the transition to secondary school. Most of her friends went with her but I think as those friends developed other friendships, if she wasn’t compatible with those people, she found it hard.
Aeryn Bond, pictured, was found dead at her home on the Isle of Wight after she dropped out of school ahead of her GCSE exams
‘She wanted to pursue drama and be an actress. She wanted to learn the craft of acting, not just do drama. She was very serious about it.’
Aeryn had been studying drama, geography, English, maths and science GCSEs at the time.
The youngster had also developed a plan for a five-book fantasy novel series, but was such a perfectionist she said she could never publish the books before finishing each one.
Her mum said: ‘She had been writing the book for a long time. It was a fantasy-horror novel. She had a whole world thought out.
‘When she dropped out of school just before [her death], I said “don’t worry just write your books”. But she said “I can’t just write one book, I have to write all five before I publish one, in case I change it later on”.
‘She was such a perfectionist, she kept going back over the same bits.’
Mrs Bond said her daughter began to struggle at school and her depression meant she was not in a position to complete her GCSE exams as planned.
Aeryn’s inquest heard she had wanted to become an actress
She told the inquest: ‘Aeryn felt that she was depressed and that had started to affect her school work. Her mental state had begun to affect her ability to function.
‘She felt unable to do the work. It got to the point she just could not do it. She knew she wanted to get her GCSEs, her A-levels and go to drama school.
‘In an ideal world, she would have stayed at the school but not taken her exams and then re-taken the year the following September in the hope she could have done them.
‘But that couldn’t happen. Coming out of school hit Aeryn hard. She felt like she was a failure.’
Her former drama teacher at Medina College, in Newport, Isle of Wight, Stephanie Shorrock, has told the inquest Aeryn was the ‘most wonderful’ performer, who loved Shakespeare’s plays.
The inquest continues.