Local News

Family of surf lifesaving champ who took her own life back new law to punish bullies

Tributes are flooding in for Adelaide girl Libby Bell who “lit up a room”. Her heartbroken family want bullies to pay.

By Lorna Gray
The devastated family of Libby Bell, who took her own life after being bullied and cyber bullied, say they support measures to prosecute those responsible.
SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens has called on the State Government to strengthen legislation to prosecute bullies following the 13-year-old’s tragic death.
They're backing the introduction of a law similar to Brodie’s Law which sees those who cause physical or mental harm to a victim facing up to ten years in prison.
Brodie’s Law was introduced in Victoria in 2011 after Brodie Panlock, 19, took her life amid intensive bullying by co-workers.
Libby’s uncle Clint Gow-Smith says introducing a similar law is something the family support: “They’d certainly be behind something like that,” he said on behalf of the family.
They she was a victim of an incident at a fast food restaurant last year where she was filmed being physically bullied.
Tributes have been flowing in for the 13-year-old, who was a surf lifesaving champion for Moana Surf Life Saving Club.
“She had a million-dollar smile, her face lit up the room, she just had a beautiful smile — that was our Libster,” her uncle said.
Source: Facebook
Staff at Moana Surf Life Saving also paid tribute to the teenager and said they're grieving the "sudden and devastating loss of Libby".
Her mum, Crystal Bell, left a devastating post on Facebook as she mourns her daughter:
“You Libby Bell have been an absolute joy and pleasure to raise these short almost 14 years of your beautiful life,” she wrote.
“While I refuse to face the reality we now face for the rest of our lives, this afternoon was most definitely a soul-destroying experience to sit where you took your last precious breaths, one week on ... the longest we’ve ever spent away from you in your whole life.”
“(We) will always cherish your affection you kind-hearted soul.
“I will forever have a hole in my heart, where you belong because you were just too perfect for heaven.”
Source: Facebook
Libby was a Year 8 student at Seaford Secondary School in Adelaide.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family financially through this difficult time.
Our deepest condolences to Libby's family and friends.
If you or anyone you know is suffering, contact Lifeline (lifeline.org.au) on 1311 14 or visit Headspace at (headspace.org.au). Visit Beyond Blue at (beyondblue.org.au) or call 1300 22 4636. You can also contact the Kids Help Line on 1800 55 1800.

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