Dad re­counts ‘worst day of his life’

Llanelli Star - - News -

BY­RON John has given an emo­tional ac­count of the “worst day of his life”.

The fa­ther of Bradley John ap­peared along­side his step­mother, Kate Pickard, on ITV day­time pro­gramme This Morn­ing, co-hosted by Phillip Schofield and Holly Wil­loughby, this week.

He told them about Bradley’s life grow­ing up with ADHD, and how it made him a “mag­net” for bul­lies.

“He was cer­tainly not or­di­nary – he dared to be dif­fer­ent. He had an Xbox and spent very lit­tle time on it. He loved the out­doors – his horses, his quad bike. It was just about do­ing things.

“His ADHD would cause him to get frus­trated; it would cause the oc­ca­sional melt­down. I feel it also made him hy­per­sen­si­tive.

“He took things to heart. He was bois­ter­ous, but the ADHD was part of his make-up. He wanted ev­ery­one to love him. I think when peo­ple were nasty to him, he didn’t un­der­stand it. Chil­dren with ADHD are re­ac­tive. If the bul­lies get a re­ac­tion, that makes the vic­tim a mag­net.” Mr John re­called the day Bradley died. For Mr John, up to that point it had been a morn­ing like any other.

“We got up as usual. There was the usual ban­ter. He asked which ve­hi­cle we’d be tak­ing to the bus stop, and I told him we were tak­ing the Jeep. He ran across the yard, picked up a can of petrol and put it in the boot – he needed it for his quad bike. He tapped the roof and said ‘Don’t for­get the petrol.’ Those were his last words.”

He said that later he had a text mes­sage from Bradley’s sis­ter Danielle, 13, say­ing Bradley hadn’t turned up for one of his sub­jects. “I im­me­di­ately thought that was strange. He wasn’t one for bunk­ing off lessons. If he had a prob­lem he would take him­self to the toi­let cu­bi­cles and ring me. This time he didn’t.”

Bradley was found and med­i­cal help sum­moned to the school.

“I had a tele­phone call from the head teacher. We got straight in the car – I ad­mit to be­ing reck­less, as the 20-minute jour­ney took seven min­utes.”

Mr John com­mended the ef­forts of the emer­gency ser­vices per­son­nel who tried in vain to save Bradley’s life.

“When we got there, the air am­bu­lance, paramedics and doc­tors were in­cred­i­ble,” he said.

By­ron John and step­mother Kate Pickard speak to Phillip Schofield and Holly Wil­loughby on This Morn­ing.

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