THE FATHER and headteacher of a 14-year-old boy found dead in woodland have paid tribute to him.
Investigations are continuing into the death of Derek Brundrett, who was found at a secondary school in Pembroke.
His father, David, wrote on Facebook: “To my boy Derek. Sorry for not being there for you.
“Should of tried harder, you will always be in my thoughts every minute of every day as you have been since the day you were born. I will miss you more than anyone I have ever known.”
He also appeared to blame bullies for Derek’s death, writing in a separate message: “Bullies, I am coming for you. Now my life is not worth living.”
Pembroke School headteacher Frank Ciccotti said staff and pupils were deeply shocked and saddened.
He said: “He was a likeable and popular student with a group of close friends. He had a larger-than-life character and was loyal, gentle and caring. He will be much missed.
“Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his family and friends. He is ever present in our thoughts.
“We are trying to help students and staff come to terms with their loss through a series of special assemblies. We also have experienced counsellors and support workers available to talk to those who are most affected.
“The school is co-operating with the coroner and his officers in their investigation into the circumstances of this tragic event. It would not be appropriate for us to make any further comment at this time.”
Mr Ciccotti added: “We are absolutely certain that bullying was not a factor in this tragic incident.
“I spoke to the boy’s friends yesterday afternoon and they were very open about his thoughts and the problems he was facing, but bullying was not one of them.
“Derek also had daily access to the school’s pastoral support system where he confided some of the problems he was going through.
“The school is operating as normal this week, the last week of term as I think it is important for the pupils to have some sort of normality.
“They will however have access to any additional support they need.
“The school is also looking at arrangements to open on Saturday and Sunday afternoon where access to our family internment workers will be available to pupils and their families.”
A Facebook page has also been set up in Derek’s memory.
The death happened at about 2pm last Thursday in a wooded area near the school’s reception.
A police spokeswoman said:
“Police school liaison officers have been working with the school to ensure the well-being of the rest of the pupils.”
County councillor Susan Perkins, who sits on the school’s board of governors, said:
“It goes without saying that whenever something like this happens in the community it is absolutely heartbreaking and my condolences go to the family. It is just incredibly sad.”
Pembroke School has around 1,400 pupils.