Grieving mum wants everyone to see harrowing image days before daughter’s death


A devastated mother wants to publicize a picture of her 12-year-old daughter who died, to raise awareness about bullying.

Rachel Halliwell revealed her daughter Semina took her own life shortly after an interview with a police officer and died on June 12, last year, after spending four nights in hospital.

Before she died Semina a first year pupil at high school claimed she had been raped by an older boy who said she had groomed her over social media.

Now her heartbroken mum, Rachel, has released a photograph of Semina taken in hospital just days before she died, as she raised concerns about how police had handled her daughter’s case.

Rachel, from Southport, claimed Merseyside Police officers investigating the alleged rape made Semina “feel like an inconvenience”, and she has complained to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, report Liverpool Echo.



Rachel wants the image released to show others the devastating impact bullying can have on others

She says she wants the image released today to act as a warning to others on the devastating impact bullying can have on others.

Rachel said a detective “started talking about all the forms he’d have to fill in and how long it would take him to fill those forms in”. Rachel’s aunt Clare Halliwell says the detective then told Semina: “It’s your word against his and do you really want this hanging over your head for 18 months, because it wouldn’t go to court for 18 months to two years”.

Rachel says she believes Merseyside Police “failed her daughter”. Merseyside Police today told the ECHO it was “not appropriate” to comment on the issues raised ahead of a planned inquest into Ella’s death.

A spokesperson for the force said: “The matter is currently being considered by the Sefton, Knowsley and St Helens coroner and as such it is not appropriate for Merseyside Police to comment on any of the substantive issues raised at this time, as we would not wish to prejudice the coronial investigation. However, we have, and are, co-operating fully with the coroner in this matter.”

A spokesperson for the coroners’ office also said they were unable to comment on this or any case that is under investigation. The spokesperson added: “The date of inquiry will be published in due course.”

Semina’s tragic case was raised at a parliamentary committee on June 23, 2021, when Labor MP Apsana Begum asked then-Education Secretary Gavin Williamson what more could be done to help protect children from sexual harassment and abuse. Ms Begum said: “I wanted to highlight the case of Semina who was 12 years old who disclosed that she’d been raped, and has committed suicide last week.”

Following her death, Rachel feared Semina’s bullies would “gatecrash” her funeral. Rachel had initially said “everyone is invited” to celebrate Ella’s short life. But she later received some horrifying messages.

Screenshots seen by the ECHO appeared to show someone who knew Semina telling Rachel they had been told they’d “get battered at the funeral” if they attended. The message continued: “I’m scared to go”.

Police officers were in attendance at the funeral, which went ahead without incident. But less than three months later, Rachel was left devastated after the grave of her 12-year-old daughter was “trashed” by yobs.

In September, a family friend found Semina’s grave had been “completely desecrated”. Rachel told the ECHO: “It was covered in bricks and rocks and there was dog mess all over it. It was clearly done on purpose.”

At the time, Community Inspector Graham Fisher said the force and the community shared the family’s “shock and revulsion” over the desecration of Semina’s grave. He told the ECHO: “This is the final resting place of a beloved family member, and I can only imagine how upsetting it must have been for their loved ones to find that the grave had been treated in this way.

“While thankfully no permanent damage has been caused, it will have caused lasting distress to the family.” Merseyside Police today confirmed no charges or arrests have been made in relation to her serious attack on Semina.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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