[JdN: My comment is — how psychopathic can Whites get? to harass to death such a beautiful girl over her red hair, a glorious sign of her Western European heritage?]
Make ginger taunts a hate crime, says father of girl, 15, found dead in the woods after being bullied
- Helena Farrell ‘bullied all of her life over the colour of her ginger hair’
- Schoolgirl, 15, was found in dense woodland half a mile from her home
- Father claims she killed herself and believes bullying contributed to death
- Inquest has yet to officially establish the cause of death in January
- Father demands that discrimination against ginger people made a hate crime
The father of a girl found dead after being bullied over her red hair has called for ginger jokes to be made a hate crime.
Enda Farrell, 56, said he believed his daughter Helena, 15, might still be alive had she not been picked on because of her hair colour.
The teenager was found dead in woodland half a mile away from her home in Kendal, Cumbria, in January.
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Teenager Helena Farrell allegedly suffered lifelong bullying over the colour of her hair – which her father claims contributed to her death
The 15-year-old’s body was found in dense woodland half a mile from her home in Kendal, Cumbria
The cause of her death has not yet been officially established, but yesterday her father said he believes Helena killed herself.
Mr Farrell, a former town councillor, said she had been tormented all her life by bullies’ taunts about her ginger hair.
He called for a change in the law to make it illegal to discriminate against people because of their hair colour.
‘People need to realise that when they say the things they do, it can have deeply traumatising effects and can lead to self-harm and suicide,’ he said.
‘Helena’s death was not just because of it but the bullying she faced all her life certainly contributed.’
The teenager, who was a gifted cellist and singer, had been out with friends just hours before she died and was said to be ‘very happy’ when she said goodbye to them. But at about 10pm her body was found in dense woodland close to the grounds of the town’s Castle Green Hotel.
Cumbria Police said they were not treating the death as suspicious.
At the time, Mr Farrell said his family had tried desperately to help Helena ‘overcome her dark thoughts that began to cloud over her shining personality’.
Mr Farrell, his wife Maria and their 15-year-old son Declan said their lives had been ‘ripped apart’ by her death.
She went to the comprehensive Kirkbie Kendal School as well as studying at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and dreamed of becoming a professional musician.
Mr Farrell believes police forces should also recognise victimisation based on hair colour
Helena, who was a gifted musician, was bullied about her hair colour from a young age
Helena had already achieved a distinction in a grade seven cello exam and a merit in a grade six singing exam.
She also played the lead role of Scaramouche in her school’s musical We Will Rock You.
Her father spoke out after last week’s unofficial ‘Kick a Ginger Day’ – thought to have stemmed from American cartoon South Park – which reportedly led to attacks on redheads across the country.
Mr Farrell said he had heard this caused one local boy to skip school and to leave early the next day.
In April, Greater Manchester Police recognised ‘alternative sub-cultures’ as a motivation for hate crime. It followed the death of Sophie Lancaster, 20, who was attacked for being a ‘goth’.
Mr Farrell said he believes police forces should also recognise victimisation based on hair colour.
He is supported by local MP Tim Farron, who this week tabled a written question to Home Secretary Theresa May on the subject.
He demanded to know what plans she had to ensure action was taken against those who persecute others on the basis of hair colour.
Condemnation of such bullying follows the death of Simon Walters, 14, from Wolverhampton, who reportedly took his life after being bullied about his ginger hair.
Mr Farron added: ‘Kids can be really quite cruel but it shouldn’t be tolerated.
HOW TO BEAT THE BULLIES
Bullying is described by the UK government as behaviour that is ‘intended to hurt someone either physically or emotionally’.
It can include physical assaults, teasing, making threats, name-calling or cyberbullying, which is bullying via mobile phone or online.
Anybody suffering at the hands or a bully, or bullies, should immediately tell a parent, teacher or someone they trust.
The police can also be contacted on non-emergency number 101, or 999 in an emergency, if the bullying involves a crime.
There are also several anti-bullying charities that can help, including the Anti-Bullying Alliance, BeatBullying, Bullying UK, ChildLine, Kidscape and the NSPCC.
‘It’s a serious matter and I cannot see how being ginger is any less qualifying for the additional category of hate crime that being a goth is.’
Luke Roberts, national co-ordinator for the Anti-Bullying Alliance, said attacks on ginger people should be dealt with in the same way as any other prejudice.
He added: ‘For people with ginger hair bullying seems to be acceptable – the norm. That’s what makes it totally inappropriate.’
Windermere councillor Ben Berry, who also has red hair, said: ‘People laugh at me when I say it’s almost as if ginger-haired people are our own race.
‘But it’s like that – we’re beaten and made fun of just the same as someone is by a racist because they’re black.
‘I went to a football match and the doorman said, “Sorry, we don’t let ginger people in” – this was a full grown man making fun of another adult.’
For confidential support on suicide matters call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 or visit a local Samaritans branch or click here.