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Jessica Cobb's mother pleads for end to tragic death speculation
The grieving mother of an Abbots Langley schoolgirl, who was found dead at her home last week, has asked that people “do not speculate unnecessarily” about the circumstances surrounding her daughter’s death.
Since the death of Jessica Cobb, a pupil at St Michael’s Catholic High School, Garston, social networking sites have been rife with speculation and accusations of bullying in relation to the teenagers death.
Hertfordshire Constabulary is currently investigating the circumstances around the 15-year-old’s death but said they have found no evidence of bullying.
This week Jessica’s mother, Paula Cobb, called for an end to the speculation, saying she blamed no one for her daughter’s death.
She said: “We are aware of the speculation about Jessie and while we appreciate the concern that a great many people have shown I would like to clarify some of the issues that have been raised.
“A friend set up a Facebook page encouraging people to donate money and as much as I appreciate their concern I have no reason to believe she was being bullied at the time of her death.
“The page was set up because people were looking for answers and wanted someone to blame. I, as her mum, blame no one. The thoughts that Jessie had in her last moments were hers and as her mum I am beginning to understand them.”
This week, the family closed Jessica’s Facebook account, citing personal reasons, and said there had been too much speculation over the tragic event.
Mrs Cobb added: “She was a vibrant, lively, gobby teenager and that’s how I want her to be remembered.
“This is a distressing time for us and while we appreciate everyone’s messages of support, we would ask that people do not speculate unnecessarily about what happened.”
Mrs Cobb’s statement comes after reports appeared in the national media this week saying Jessica was driven to her death by bullying and referring to comments made on Facebook.
Since the news emerged on Wednesday, January 16, hundreds of tributes expressing grief and shock poured in for Jessica on a Facebook tribute page.
A memorial fund has also been set up in her memory and Jessica’s parents had asked well wishers to donate money to the fund instead of buying flowers.
Mrs Cobb said: “I appreciate the money that has been donated so far. This will be put into something to celebrate Jessie’s life but I have not decided what yet. Once I do, I will let everybody know.”
This week, Watford’s MP, Richard Harrington, was also urged to look into the circumstances surrounding Jessica’s death as constituents came forward with their concerns over cyber bulling and bullying in Watford schools.
It came after Jessica’s father, Mark Cobb, took to Facebook to urge the Conservative backbencher to view the tribute page set up in memory of his “very happy, lively, infectious and vibrant daughter”.
As a result, Mr Harrington confirmed he would raise the issue of cyber bulling in Parliament on Monday, January 21. However after making further enquiries with the police, school and Jessica’s family, he decided against this.
Instead, Mr Harrington has pledged to work with schools and organisations, as well as the Government, to help tackle bullying and improve support for vulnerable youngsters.
He said: “My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this time. Having read many people’s tributes, it is clear she will be greatly missed.”
Jessica’s funeral will take place on Monday, January 28, at St Saviour Church in Abbots Langley at 11am. Visitors are then invited to West Herts Crematorium at 12.40pm.
Daniel Phillips, a spokesman from the police, said: “We understand the public concern and would like to reassure everyone involved that we are conducting a thorough investigation into the circumstances around Jessica’s death, as well as offering support to her family at this difficult time.
“We would like to reiterate that we are not treating this incident as suspicious and no one is being sought by police in connection with it.
“We would ask that the media respect the family's wish for privacy as they come to terms with their loss.”