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February 13, 2019

Amber Peat's stepdad claims she lied about him humiliating and punishing her, court heard

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The mother and stepfather of 13-year-old Amber Peat, who hanged herself, told an inquest that the girl lied about punishments and chores.

Amber Peat hanged herself in bushes close to her home on May 30, 2015, but her body was only found on June 2.

Before the tragic incident, Amber told a teacher that her stepfather woke her up at 1:30 am to scrub floors. When Amber arrived at school sobbing, dressed in dirty baggy grey jogging pants, she told teachers her stepfather made her wear them as punishment.

On the day Amber committed suicide, her mother and stepfather gave different accounts on how events unfolded. Amber got given a cool box to clean, which she was not happy about. The girl stood in the hallway while her mother, Kelly, and stepfather Daniel Peat sat in the living room. Kelly told the inquest:

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"She stood in the hallway with the cool box in her hand, and she was just staring at me. I asked her what was going on, but she was just staring at me. I kept asking her What's wrong? What's going on? She stood there, and she was just staring so I shut the door to."

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According to Daniel things happened differently as he

recalled

Amber’s words: 

"You are my mum, and I want to talk to you. Mum, Mum, Mum."

Soon after Daniel and Kelly heard the front door slam. That is the last time they saw their daughter alive.

During the inquest, Kelly and Daniel denied all allegations of “emotional abuse,” as the assistant Coroner, Laurinda Bower asked Daniel:

"Did you make her wear baggy jogging bottoms, so she was humiliated by her peers?"

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Daniel responded, “No ma'am, I had nothing to do with it." When asked about Amber being woken up in the middle of the night to clean floors, Daniel denied that happened as well.

In response, Laurinda said to Daniel, “What you are saying is Amber is lying.” Again Daniel confirmed and added, “Yes, not just about me.”

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According to Daniel, Amber made false claims about her biological father Adrian Cook and schoolteachers. The former pupil at Queen Elizabeth Academy in Mansfield was missing for 8 hours before her mother phoned the police at 1 am.

Amber's parents reasoned that she had run away before and that neither of them was worried. After Amber left the house for the last time, Daniel and Kelly went shopping, got the car washed and had some tea before they returned home hours later. The parents believed Amber to be "close by" and expected she would return.

When specifically asked whether he lied about the events that led up to Amber's death, Daniel said, "No, I haven't." Kelly added that Amber had not run away while Daniel spent time in prison for tax fraud. The inquest continues.

A similar tragedy occurred when another 13-year-old left his house after a fight with his parents and never returned. Corey Brown disagreed with his parents after they took his cellphone as punishment. The boy stormed out of his home in Marshalltown, Iowa on January 22, 2019.

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The young boy left during a snowstorm, his body found days later at the bottom of a communication tower site.

It appeared that Corey gained access to the site by climbing over a security fence before he climbed onto the tower. Corey fell from an "undetermined distance" and died of a traumatic head injury. According to Police chief Michael Tupper, Corey's death was "highly likely" accidental.

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A similar case involving a 13-year-old boy tragically tells the tale of another kind of situation that drove a young boy to suicide.

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