A TEENAGER has designed a mural in memory of a popular student who died this year.
Ben Gregory Pritchard, of Greenacres, Westfield, drew the chalk-based piece on canvas as a tribute to 15-year-old Lance Bassett, who lived in Old Roar Road, St Leonards.
The pupil at Claverham Community College died on March 31 after being found by his mother, hanged in his bedroom.
Ben, who is 16 and studying art at Sussex Coast College, knew Lance most of his school life at Claverham in Battle and thought it would fitting to make a mural in his memory.
The teenager, who left Claverham in the summer, said: “Lance was one of my good friends.
“He was always cheerful and made me and everyone else laugh.
“Lance was fun to be around. He loved to play the drums.”
Following the tragedy, fellow school pupils left floral tributes, pictures and messages at the school gates in memory of Lance.
Ben plans to visit Claverham on Tuesday to meet with principal Paul Swatton to discuss finding a permanent spot for the mural.
At an inquest into Lance’s death, which was held in July, the schoolboy’s parents said they believed his death was caused by an April Fool’s prank that went ‘horribly wrong’.
Coroner Alan Craze recorded an open verdict.
Ben’s artistic talent has captured the interest of the rich and famous when Heather Mills bought three pieces of his work in September last year.
He has produced pieces in various genres, from street art and graffiti to surrealism.
The teenager, who has severe dyslexia and dyscalculia (difficulty with maths), became interested in art when he was nine and gained an A grade in GCSE Art.
Earlier this year Ben painted two murals for Westfield School, his former primary school.
One is of Spiderman with the school’s logo in his web, and the other, of Spongebob Squarepants holding the Westfield School book bag.