Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Adam May

Archie Battersbee’s mum calls for coroner to examine role of TikTok in son's death

Archie Battersbee’s mum has asked a coroner to examine the role of TikTok in her son's death.

Archie, 12, was at the centre of a long High Court battle after he suffered catastrophic brain injuries at his home in Southend, Essex, on April 7.

He died in August after his life support was switched off.

Mum Hollie Dance now wants the role of the social media giant to be placed under the microscope.

Ms Dance, 47, believes her son was injured after he took part in an internet challenge known as the “blackout challenge”.

Both Ms Dance and Archie's dad, Paul Battersbee, fought a drawn out but ultimately unsuccessful legal fight against Barts Health NHS trust to prevent Archie’s life support from being switched off.

Archie's life support was switched off in August (PA)
Hollie's legal fight to move him from hospital to a hospice came to an end (PA)

It was ruled by doctors that Archie was brain-stem dead and that continuing treatment would not be in the youngster's best interests.

Ms Dance was also unsuccessful in her appeal to have Archie moved from the hospital to a hospice for his final moments.

However she is now calling for TikTok to be made an interested party in the inquest, which would mean the tech company could be called to give evidence, the Guardian reports.

“Archie had the TikTok app. In the last few weeks [before his injury] he kept making out he was dizzy, that he could make himself pass out," she said.

Archie, 12, was at the centre of a High Court battle after he suffered catastrophic brain injuries at his home in Southend, Essex (PA)

"He’d never caused me any alarm by putting anything around his neck or anything like that so this was a very new thing.

"For him to all of a sudden start that at the age of 12 years old, he’s seen it somewhere and the only thing I can think of is TikTok.”

Written submissions to the coroner by Dance’s new lawyers, which has been seen by the Guardian, says that she believes Archie was “influenced, persuaded or peer-pressured online” into taking part in the blackout challenge on the social media site and believes matters raised are “of real and important public concern”.

The submission also claims that at least 82 children had died in the US in similar circumstances, citing a report conducted by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hollie Dance surrounded by family and friends, outside the Royal London hospital in Whitechapel, east London (PA)

Despite TikTok having a minimum age requirement of 13, Ofcom found in 2020 that 42 per cent of eight- to 12-year-olds in the UK used the video platform.

The submissions on behalf of Dance request a jury inquest and also that the “well-meaning response” of ambulance staff and those responsible for Archie’s care in the first 24 hours is examined.

Ms Dance has reportedly submitted a question as to why Archie was not flown to the Royal London hospital, but the submission states they are not seeking for the court decision around Archie's life support to be explored.

TikTok declined to comment on the matter.

The video-sharing giant has previously stressed that it does not permit its users to share content featuring dangerous activities, and that the "blackout challenge" predates the creation of the app.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.