Phoebe Prince’s Mother On Bullying, Suicide: ‘It Is Torture’
NORTHAMPTON (CBS/AP) – The mother of a South Hadley teenager who killed herself last year after months of relentless bullying delivered an emotional victim impact statement in court Wednesday.
Phoebe Prince’s crying mother approved the deals finalized in Hampshire Superior Court, where Sean Mulveyhill and Kayla Narey, both 18, were sentenced for their roles in the bullying that preceded Phoebe Prince‘s suicide in January 2010.
“It is nearly impossible to measure the impact of Phoebe’s death upon our lives. How do you measure a future lost?” said Prince’s mother Anne O’Brien.
WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports.
“There is a dead weight that now sits permanently on my chest. It is an unbearable pain, and it will stay with me until my own death. I would not wish this kind of pain on any parent. It is torture.”
O’Brien described the anguish she felt immediately after the death of her daughter, a South Hadley high school freshman who hanged herself after what prosecutors described as months of relentless bullying.
Raw Video: Phoebe’s Mom In Court
“As I said my final goodbye to Phoebe at the crematorium, I lifted her from her coffin and held her for the very last time. My little girl, once so full of life, was now so cold,” said O’Brien.
O’Brien accused defendant Sean Mulveyhill of actions that “were designed to humiliate her and destroy her spirits.”
She added her daughter “sought release from the unbearable pain” Mulveyhill caused her. Mulveyhill, who pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year of probation, dated Prince for a short time.
“Had I known the truth, I would have viewed his interest in my daughter as predatory and she would have been forbidden to see him,” O’Brien said.
“Her final text messages were about Sean and the girls that tormented her. She wrote, ‘I think Sean condoning this is one of the final nails in my coffin, I can’t take much more, and it would be easier if he or any one of them handed me a noose’.”
Regarding Narey, O’Brien questioned where her “courage and compassion” were during the bullying of Phoebe.
“Phoebe ended her pain brought out by harassment, harassment that could have easily been stopped if those involved had ever reached inside themselves to find their own compassion,” said O’Brien.
During her portion of the hearing, Narey addressed the Prince family and Phoebe herself.
“My behavior in the days leading up to Phoebe’s death was unacceptable,” said Narey. “Back when I had the chance to be the person I was raised to be, I failed. I was the weak one, and that failure will always be with me. I am sorry, Phoebe.”
“I am immensely ashamed of myself that I allowed my emotions to spiral into acts of unkindness,” she added.
At one point, the judge asked O’Brien if she agreed with the plea deals. O’Brien took a very long pause before uttering “Yes, your honor.”
“Never again will she ask me to read her a short story or a poem she had written and discuss it with her. My kitchen table is a very quiet place to be these days,” said O’Brien.
Three other defendants are due in court Thursday.
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