Archie Battersbee died in prank gone flawed – coroner

Hollie Dance With Her Son ArchieHollie Dance

Archie Battersbee died unintentionally following a “prank or experiment” that went flawed, a coroner concluded.

Archie, 12, was discovered unconscious on the household home in Southend-on-Sea on 7 April.

He died 4 months later in August, following his dad and mom’ authorized battle with the NHS hospital treating him in London.

The coroner mentioned there was no proof he was doing a web-based problem on the time, as his mom first believed.

Hollie Dance had requested Essex Police to have a look at her son Archie’s telephone for any proof he might have been participating in a problem.

No photos or movies of Archie participating in on-line challenges have been discovered, a detective instructed the inquest.

Senior Coroner for Essex, Lincoln Brookes, mentioned he couldn’t “rule out the possibility” that was what occurred and nor may police, however he mentioned a choice needed to be made primarily based on the proof.

His medical reason behind dying was recorded as an unsurvivable catastrophic hypoxic ischemic mind harm.


Mr Brookes mentioned Archie “hadn’t intended to harm himself but had done so inadvertently during a prank or experiment that went wrong”.

He added that it “probably went wrong very quickly and very badly”.

He mentioned he had thought of a conclusion of suicide, however dominated this out.

While Archie had expressed intervals of low temper within the previous 12 months there was no proof of it on the time of his dying, the coroner mentioned.

“He was full of energy, he was very physical, he was at times very bored,” mentioned Mr Brookes.

“He liked to trick, he liked sometimes to carry out acts, or some might describe them as stunts, that would alarm people,” he mentioned.

Hollie Dance Outside Court Holding A Picture Of Her With Son Archie

John Fairhall/BBC

Speaking exterior courtroom Ms Dance mentioned she felt the end result “was correct”.

She mentioned the household now wished time “to grieve” however that she would proceed to sort out on-line bullying.

Hollie Dance And Archie Battersbee

Hollie Dance

Ms Dance had mentioned beforehand that she and members of her household had been subjected to abusive messages from “online trolls”.

“The whole idea of raising awareness from day one, even when we weren’t 100% sure what Archie had done, was to raise awareness to other parents to prevent something happening again,” she mentioned.

“I think we have done that, despite the fact we’ve been trolled so heavily, it’s been worth it.

“I do suppose now we have saved kids’s lives.”

She said she wanted her son to be remembered as a “fun-loving, very energetic” youngster.

Hollie Dance Speaking To Media Outside Court

John Fairhall/BBC

The inquest in Chelmsford heard that Archie received a voice note days before he was found unconscious which told him his mother had wanted to have an abortion.

Det Sgt Tiffany Gore told the inquest officers found a voice note from 3 April in which a young male voice said: “Oi Archie, are you aware why you are indignant?

“Because your mum wanted you to be an abortion.”

She mentioned {that a} second audio word on the identical date mentioned: “You and your mum are the ones sat there all night using.”

Another “heated exchange” was discovered dated 15 February 2022 with “a number of voice notes” in a second younger male voice, she mentioned.

Mr Brookes mentioned it may very well be characterised as a “heated exchange of bravado” the place threats have been exchanged.

Videos and pictures on Archie’s telephone confirmed the teenager participating in martial arts and “showed a happy little boy enjoying his hobbies”, the officer mentioned.

The inquest heard that though Archie had TikTok on his telephone, the police had not been in a position to say for sure he had by no means seen any on-line challenges or one thing containing suicidal ideas.

However, they did set up there had been no web searches associated to on-line challenges.

Archie Battersbee

Hollie Dance

Thomas Summers, Archie’s older brother, described him as a “joker”.

He mentioned he had spoken to him hours earlier than he was discovered unconscious and Archie had instructed him he was trying to purchase a brand new coat.

“I do not believe Archie would have intentionally harmed himself in any way when just a few hours before he was looking to buy a coat,” mentioned his brother.

He added that Archie was concentrating on his first MMA combat, which was just a few weeks away.

Archie’s older sister Lauren Summers mentioned she couldn’t recall “any signs or indications of Archie being in a low mood or displaying unusual behaviour”.

Matthew Badcock, the top instructor at Archie’s former major college, mentioned: “Although Archie was challenging, he was lovely with it and rarely disrespectful.”

He described instances when Archie “would go to the top of the stairwell and was hanging over the top and staff had to pull him back”.

He mentioned that when he heard of the incident he “never for one second believed” Archie was attempting to hurt himself.

“My gut reaction was he was doing something athletic or mucking about and it had gone wrong,” mentioned Mr Badcock.

Paul Battersbee And Hollie Dance

PA Media

Archie was on life help on the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, and his dad and mom, Paul Battersbee and Hollie Dance, opposed plans to finish his life help remedy, however misplaced a authorized battle within the courts.

Dr Malik Ramadhan, the medical director of the hospital, however not one in every of Archie’s treating clinicians, was requested to provide an summary of Archie’s time there.

He mentioned that when Archie arrived from Southend Hospital there have been “signs of neurological damage”.

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

“It was repeated with music being played and his mother with him to see if there was any response and there was no response to any outside stimulation.”

He mentioned that the hospital shaped the view that it was “not a survivable injury”.

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