Heart-broken Masterton dad forgives bullies

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Grieving father Doug Meyrick has forgiven bullies he suspects threatened his teenage daughter Gabrielle the night she suddenly died.

Mr Meyrick said yesterday he and his four children had two weeks ago enjoyed an "awesome" time at the Masterton home he and son Stephen, 13, shared with Gabrielle. His 17-year-old daughter had been bubbly and happy throughout the day but had fallen quiet that night while texting on her phone.

He said he believes Gabrielle had been receiving bullying and threatening messages that were immediately deleted.

Police last week told the Times-Age that nothing to cause concern was found on Gabrielle's phone or the social network website.

"I knew about the bullying, she told me, and there were threats this year. But the bullies were only half the story," Mr Meyrick said. "They didn't drive her to do this. She did it herself. I forgive them."

Mr Meyrick said Gabrielle, who had been diagnosed with depression, had three years ago told himself and her mother Jasmine about being sexually abused as a much younger child.

The aftermath of the alleged abuse had been unresolved, he said, despite an active police investigation. He had taken Gabrielle to counselling about the same time the bullying began.

Mr Meyrick praised staff at Makoura College and was satisfied the school had "done all they could for my girl".

"Gabby caused me a lot of grief in her lifetime. She was no angel but she was no bully either. She just gave what she got and I loved her all the same," he said.

Mr Meyrick had this week met other Masterton parents who had lost their children during a spate of similar deaths last year and he made a call for the reinstatement of a full-time suicide prevention worker in the region. The Wairarapa District Health Board post has been cut to part-time.

Mr Meyrick said that since the funeral he had "a million times" read messages Gabrielle had penned in a notebook. He said the messages seemed to have been written at different times over past months and were at odds with her plans this year to start modelling, attend university and take up childcare.


 


IF YOU NEED HELP:

Lifeline Suicide Helpline 0508 TAUTOKO ( noon-midnight)

Depression Helpline 0800 111 757 (8am-midnight)

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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