Leanne Wolfe was Ireland’s Phoebe Prince’s case Young woman took her life after extreme bullying
Leanne Wolfe took her own life on March 23 2007 in her family home. The day of funeral, her older sister Triona discovered her diaries, which revealed she had been subjected to a campaign of verbal and physical bullying by a group of six girls over a three-year period. As detailed in RTE Radio’s Documentary on One; “The Diary of Leanne Wolfe” this is her story.
Leanne Wolfe’s parents were on holiday in Spain when their phone rang in the middle of the night.
“I knew it was about Leanne,” her mother Colette recalls.
It was their son Anthony calling from their home in Cork to tell them that their 18-year-old daughter had been found dead in her bedroom.
After years of relentless bullying, she had taken an overdose of prescription medication.
Upon hearing the news, Colette’s maternal instincts kicked in as she gave her son Anthony simple instructions about what to do.
“She carried this pink morning coat everywhere she went…it was thread bare and it looked like it was about fifty-years-old…I said to Anthony, make sure that goes with her, that will have to go with her.
“Tell everybody leave the room and then I want you to put the phone down to her, so I can talk to her,” she told her son.
“I told her, Leanne, mammy and daddy are on the way home, we won’t be long and we will be back and we will sort it all out.”
On the night she took her own life she sent one last message to her parents, expressing her love for them.
“I love you two more than anything in the world. I couldn’t have asked for a better mam and dad”
In one of her final diary entries, the Cork teen revealed her distress and torment.
“Dear diary, if anything happens to me, I want this and the previous page read at my funeral. Well the last few days have clearly been the worst for me, Monday I met Mary1 and she thumped me straight into the face, I have a big black eye. I’m mortified. I couldn’t even hit her back and not with everyone laughing at me.
“I’m going to the disco tonight, I’m afraid in case she beats me up in front of everyone.”
“The whole lot of them is snakes, I have no real friends. I am known as a slut and a tramp and a fatty.... this has gone on for too long. I can’t go on with this s**t no more. I really cant it’s not fair.
“What did I do to her, or any of them?” she wrote.
After Leanne’s death, Irish police seized her cell-phone and recovered several abusive text messages which were sent to the teen.
One of the last text messages sent to her epitomized the torment she endured leading up to her death.
“You, ya whore, on my nan’s soul you wouldn’t want to bump into me anytime soon, I swear because I am going to break your face. You are worse than the prostitutes.”
Leanne was getting ready to start college, where she planned to train to become a midwife. Her diaries revealed she has been threatened on several occasions, she had suffered several beatings and on one occasion chunks of her hair were pulled out. Her car was also vandalized.
Her parents believe that her bullies played a significant role in their daughter’s choice to committee suicide.
In response to both Leanne’s and Phoebe’s cases, the Sunday World newspaper launched a bid to have a a Phoebe and Leanne's (PALS) law drawn up to deal with bullies in Ireland. http://www.sundayworld.com/columnists/index.php?aid=6702
Collette Wolfe told the Sunday World that at least in the U.S. they were sending out a message that what happened to Cork schoolgirl Phoebe Prince is not acceptable.
"What's the point in having a legal system at all when nothing is done to stop bullies? Did what happened to Leanne not matter? That's what it feels like," she said.
Despite evidence against the individuals who bullied Leanne, her family were informed that no-one would be prosecuted.
"Leanne is dead because she was gorgeous, and loved, and the bullies were jealous of that," her mother said.
"I phoned the bully who sent Leanne her last text. She answered and said: 'You listen here, I didn't shove the f**king tablets down her throat'."