A 'mischievous' schoolboy accidentally hanged himself while trying to play a trick on his brother and father, an inquest heard.
Brad Rothwell, 11, was trying to trick his father, Bryn, and brother, Brett, when they returned from running errands but the game went tragically wrong. They found him tied to his bunkbed and unresponsive at the family home in Wigan, Greater Manchester.
They cut him free and dialled 999 but despite efforts to revive him with CPR, and the attentions of paramedics, Brad was pronounced dead at the scene. Brad was the second child to die from Fred Longworth High School in Atherton after Jade Anderson, 14, was mauled to death by dogs two months before.
Coroner Alan Walsh heard evidence that the 'model pupil' would often play pranks on his brother and father. Brad had 14 videos on YouTube, including one called 'The best hidden jump' which saw him film himself jumping out of a wardrobe to startle his brother.
Police examined Brad's laptop and phone and found no suicidal notes or evidence of planning to take his own life.
Coroner Alan Walsh ruled that Brad's death was accidental.
The inquest at Bolton Coroner's Court was told that he died two years after his mother Joanne, 44, lost her battle with cancer.
Mr Walsh said the case was 'unimaginably tragic'.
He heard Mr Rothwell, who he later described as an 'exemplary' parent, had played both parental roles since his wife and mother to his children Joanne lost her battle with cancer in 2010.
The coroner said: "I accept that death can arise from a ligature even if the ligature is not causing somebody to be suspended above the floor.
"He had no previous knowledge or experience - he was 11 years old. Pranks can get out of hand, he wasn't able to save himself.
"Rarely have I dealt with inquests with such tragedy - the fact that his mother died, the fact that he had gone to see her in the hospice with his father and his brother. It's unimaginable to me what would have gone through his mind in that period and at the time of his mother's death.
"He was a model school pupil. He was popular and a son that you would have been proud of. He enjoyed the pursuits that most kids enjoy - outdoor pursuits. He had a good relationship with his brother, dad and his family.
"You were an exemplary father, a father that's had to suffer the sadness and loss of your wife.
"Brad was mischievous at times and would play pranks. He seemed to enjoy YouTube and putting items of his own on YouTube - with him jumping out of the wardrobe, frightening people and carrying out pranks.
"He was someone who was prone to pranks and prone to unexpected behaviour to gain reactions whether it be one of joviality, one of shock or excitement.
"I believe that this was accidental death. He wouldn't have known how quickly the ligature would have an impact as such he wouldn't have been able to save himself.
"To have lost your wife in the desperately sad circumstance and to have lost your son in this way is quite unimaginable. I am very, very sorry."
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