Teenager found dead - parents pay tribute

lance bassett
lance bassett

A SCHOOLBOY was found dead at home after tragically taking his own life.

The parents of 15-year-old Lance Bassett have paid tribute to their “loving son” who had an “infectious smile”.

They said that only hours earlier he had been excited about a family holiday to Bulgaria and also an upcoming prom night.

Pupils and staff at Claverham Community College, where Lance was a student, have been left in shock following his death last Thursday.

Since the tragedy, dozens of floral tributes, pictures and poems have been left outside the college in Battle.

His mum Ann said: “Lance had an infectious smile and the most incredible sense of fun. He was so incredibly loving.

“If he thought someone was feeling down he would go up to them and cheer them up. Whether they were six or 60, Lance would make them laugh.

“Lance would come out with these fantastic one-liners that would have you in stitches and you couldn’t help but laugh.

“We can’t begin to imagine why this has happened. There was just nothing different about Lance in the last few days and I don’t think we will ever know.”

His parents have quashed rumours that their son had been experiencing bullying at school before he died.

Mrs Bassett said: “We are absolutely convinced that this was not the case.

“We have spoken to teachers asking if Lance was any different at school and some of the mums, who have come over to show their support, said Lance was laughing with other pupils on Thursday.

“I have checked his phone, email and spoken to his friends who were with him on Thursday and they have said it was absolutely not the case that he was being bullied.

“Lance had a lovely bunch of friends and they are devastated and at a complete loss over this.”

The teenager, of Old Roar Road, who has two sisters, 17-year-old Imogen and 12-year-old Alicia, was due to sit his GCSEs in a few months time.

He was a keen musician and played the piano and drums.

Lance, who attended Vinehall School before going to Claverham, played in a band with his mum and dad, Nigel, an osteopath, at Hastings Temple Salvation Army in Ore.

A tribute page to Lance has been set up on social networking website Facebook, which more than 1,500 people, including friends and teachers, have joined to pay their respects and share their memories of a boy who was ‘always cheerful and smiling’.

Paul Swatton, Claverham principal, said: “Lance was an intelligent young man, who was working hard towards his GCSEs and had a very bright future ahead of him. He played a full and active part in school life and was well-liked by staff and pupils alike.

“Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his family at this time.”

There are plans to create a permanent memorial to Lance at the school.

Police are not treating Lance’s death as suspicious and an inquest will take place at a later date.

The date of Lance’s funeral has yet to be arranged.