Father of bullied girl who took her own life says someone must be held ‘accountable’


The father of a 14-year-old girl who took her own life after being bullied on social media by fellow pupils at her school has said someone needs to be held “accountable” for her death.

Mariano Janin said his daughter Mia was bullied “in person and online” and that police should set up a “special division” to deal with cyber bullying against children.

Mia was found dead at her family home in Harrow, northwest London, in March 2021.

Two undated letters in Mia’s handwriting were found on her bed addressed to “her loving family and friends,” which “explained that Mia decided to end her life,” an inquest heard.

Her death came a day after she asked her parents about moving to a different school.

Giving his ruling at the inquest into her death on Friday, coroner Tony Murphy said the teenager died after experiencing “bullying behaviour” from several schoolboys.

However, he did not tell Barnet Coroner’s Court that bullying led to her death.

Mia attended the Jewish Free School in Kenton, northwest London, which acknowledged she had received hostile messages in response to a TikTok video she had posted.

However, the school added she was never diagnosed with a mental illness nor did she present signs that she was thinking of suicide.

Mariano Janin father of Mia Janin speaks to the media outside Barnet Coroner's Court
Mariano Janin speaks to the media outside Barnet Coroner’s Court. Pic: PA

Speaking to Sky News after the inquest, Mr Janin said: “I would like to know what really happened with Mia… And of course, I would like to have some kind of accountability if possible.”

Asked who should be held accountable, he added: “I cannot say right now because I am just very tired, I didn’t sleep last night waiting for the conclusion.

“I think I need to relax a little bit and start to think about my next move, after a little bit more time.”

In a statement given to police after Mia’s death, one of her friends said: “[Schoolboys] took screenshots of girls’ faces on social media and made fun of them. They shared a video of Mia’s TikTok and made fun of her.

“They used girls’ faces on porn stars’ bodies to upset us.”

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Mia’s friends also told officers that one of the girl’s TikTok videos was shared to a Snapchat group chat run by male pupils at the school, where they made fun of her.

The Metropolitan Police admitted in May 2023 that it had lost significant evidence during its investigation, including a SIM card from Mia’s main phone and a second mobile handset that belonged to her.

Mr Janin said: “I will not blame the police. Maybe what we need to start to think is that we need a special division in the police to deal with this type of crime.

“She was a 14-year-old girl, not a cyber terrorist.

“And I think they should create a new department for cyber crime or cyber security oriented to young people.”

Mia Janin pictured with her mother Marisa Janin
Mia Janin pictured with her mother Marisa Janin. Pic: Supplied by family

Mr Janin also lost his wife, Mia’s mother Marisa Janin, only four months after his daughter’s suicide. Mrs Janin died after developing an aneurysm and contracting leukaemia.

Following Friday’s ruling, Mr Janin described the inquest as the first step in his battle “to find justice and closure for me and what happened for Mia, and then to my wife as well.”

He said: “I will carry on with this quest for justice and in the meantime we need to do something as parents, as a society, to keep our kids safe online.”

Mia Janin
Mr Janin described his daughter as a “beautiful girl and a really nice kind of person”. Pic: Supplied by family

Mr Janin said he still thinks about his daughter’s smile, and described her as “very bubbly and creative”.

He added: She was beautiful. She was a beautiful girl and a really nice kind of person as well.”

The Jewish Free School has said it was unaware of the bullying Mia was experiencing online and that it had brought in changes following her death.

Dr David Moody, headteacher at the school, said after the ruling: “Whilst I was not in post at the time of Mia’s death, I can only promise that we will continue to do everything we can to embed all of the changes that have been put in place over the last three years.

“Mia remains a hugely missed member of our school community and our thoughts continue to be with the family.”

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org. Alternatively, letters can be mailed to: Freepost SAMARITANS LETTERS.

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