A-Level student found dead 'was fearful of future because of lockdown'

Ellen Manning
·2 min read
Matthew Mackell
Matthew Mackell was found dead in Tunbridge Wells on May 7. (Pictures: BPM Media)

The brother of an A-level student found dead in a park earlier this month said he had been fearful of his future, “probably because of the lockdown”.

Matthew Mackell, 17, was found dead in Dunorlan Park in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, on May 7. Police and paramedics were called but the Year 12 pupil was pronounced dead at the scene.

His brother Chris Mackell told the BBC that Matthew had been worried his grades would be affected by the closure of his school due to the coronavirus lockdown.

He said his brother had been fearful of his future, “probably because of the lockdown, where, obviously he's not doing his work to the same quality, maybe, or he felt like he wasn't in the right mindset to do it at home versus at school. He obviously didn't see a way out of it.”

Tributes have poured in for Matthew Mackell since his death earlier this month. (Picture: BPM)
Tributes have poured in for Matthew Mackell since his death earlier this month. (Picture: BPM Media)

He urged anyone struggling to deal with similar feelings as his brother to speak out.

Tributes poured in for Matthew following his death, with the head of Skinners' Kent Academy in Tunbridge Wells describing the school's “great sadness” at the loss of one of its students.

Dr Hilary Macaulay described Matthew, who had recently started sixth form at the academy, as a “very popular student with his peers and staff alike”.

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In a letter to parents, Dr Macaulay said: “Matthew was a SKA student through and through, representing everything that our academy stands for and values right from the start of his time in Year 7 and relishing every opportunity as he moved up into our sixth form.

“He had a genuine sense of what was just and fair and a keen interest in business and financial management.”

He added that Matthew’s father had asked him to stress that if any student felt they needed to talk about anything, to “please talk to someone and not keep it to themselves.”