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Heartbroken mum of bullied Izzy Dix speaks out

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: November 02, 2013

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The heartbroken mum of bullied schoolgirl Izzy Dix has given a hard hitting account of the torment her daughter faced in the months leading to her death.

Gabbi Dix, 45, who is currently staying with her mother in St Albans, said she was speaking out in the hope that her daughter will be the 'last person to be killed by bullies'.

Gabbi revealed that she has not returned to the Brixham home she shared with her only daughter since the night she found her hanged on September 17.

It is believed 14-year-old Izzy took her own life after sustaining abuse at school and online.

Izzy was a gifted pupil who had ambitions to go to Oxford University but her mother reported she could no longer cope with the bullying.

Not long before her suicide, she wrote a heartbreaking poem about her ordeal.

Gabbi reportedly revealed that Izzy had fled one lesson in tears the day before her death when the jibes got too much.

She told how she has not been back to the family home in Devon since the night she ran from it, hysterical, after finding Izzy's body.

Every item of furniture has been given to the charity shop Izzy used to work in.

Their other possessions are in storage except Izzy's diary, which was taken by the police as evidence.

It was reported that Gabbi hasn't been alone since Izzy died and sleeps in her mother's bed. At night, she wakes up screaming 'leave my baby alone.'

Gabbi recounted how Izzy would come home sobbing from school, called a 'boffin' because of her grade A learning and singled out because of her childhood in Darwin, Australia.

But the torment continued online through social media and anonymous website Ask.fm.

Gabbi is reported as saying: "Some people will say, "Oh that's just teenagers today," but I don't accept that. It was more than we should expect any teenager to cope with, and in the end my daughter couldn't."

Gabbi is said to be angry at the bullies and that teachers didn't do more to tackle them.

Gabbi claims she had contacted the school, Brixham College, at least 15 times in the months before her daughter died.

Gabbi, who was a teacher herself, says she last phoned to discuss the problem on September 16 - the day before Izzy died after she had come home in a terrible state.

Gabbi told how she had read Izzy's poem I Give Up just weeks before she died.

She said: "I knew she was distressed. She kept saying she couldn’t take it any more. But not once did I consider that she would do what she did. It sounds so stupid now, but in my head I thought she wasn’t quite at breaking point because her grades hadn’t slipped at school. She was a star pupil until the day she died."

Izzy met with her father Eugene Conway not long before she died, although her mother insists this did not cause her to become depressed.

Izzy was born in the UK, she and Gabbi moved to Australia in 2003 and Izzy grew up in Darwin.

"I loved being a mum," she said.

"It wasn't easy, bringing her up on my own, but Izzy was the loveliest child: clever, thoughtful, kind. Yes, when she hit her teens she could be moody and we had our moments, but overall she was a joy: bright, opinionated, fun

Two years ago, they moved back to the UK to be closer to family and settled in Brixham.

On the day she died, September 17, Gabbi said Izzy herself talked with her headteacher about her concerns.

She said Izzy 'was low' when she came home.

"She seemed tired and a bit cranky. We had words because I wanted to watch The Great British Bake Off and she didn't. But there was nothing to suggest she was going to do what she did.

"I remember she painted her nails - she was so meticulous about how she looked - then went up to her room and did her homework, had a shower, got her bag ready for school, laid out her uniform.

"I popped in and we had another chat about how the bullying was getting on top of her.

"Then I went downstairs while she got ready for bed. I had a cup of tea and a cigarette - she hates me smoking so I did it outside. I was gone 15 minutes, tops. In that 15 minutes my life was destroyed."

When she came back inside, Gabbi went back upstairs to see if Izzy was getting into bed when she found her daughter.

She describes how she hysterically ran into the street while neighbours tried to revive Izzy.

At one point she had to be restrained by a police officer after running into a car.

Gabbi has made a formal complaint to the board of governors at Brixham College and has called for the Government to ban Ask.fm.

A spokesman for the Brixham College Board of Governors said: "We are aware that a letter has been received from Izzy's mother. As this is currently a matter for the coroner, we do not feel it appropriate to make any comment at this time."

Gabbi says she really hopes by speaking out that young people will read her story, and 'think for a minute'.

"My daughter isn't the first teenager to kill herself because of bullies, but I would like her to be the last,"she says.

facebook.com/IzzyDixAntiBullyingMemorialPage

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