FAMILY and friends of Lauren Lelonek have paid tribute to the teenager at the opening of an inquest into her tragic death more than three years ago.

Lauren, 16, was found dead at her Rudheath home in June 2016, and an inquest is being held in Warrington this week.

As proceedings began today, Monday, Lauren’s mum and dad were among those to share their memories of her.

Sarah Lelonek said: “She was a kind, honest, caring girl with a big heart, who always put others before herself.”

Husband Ian added: “We have lost the most beautiful, kind-hearted young lady you could ever meet. I am blessed to say she was my daughter.

“I hope serious lessons can be learned.”

Coroner Peter Sigee is due to hear evidence over the next four days, detailing the events and circumstances that led to Lauren’s death.

Representatives from Cheshire Police and the now-defunct University of Chester Academies Trust – which ran UCAN before it was taken over by a new trust in November 2018 and renamed Rudheath Senior Academy – are among those who are due to give evidence.

Many of the witnesses in the hearing are expected to shed light on Lauren’s struggles with high school bullies, which ultimately led to two girls being convicted of harassment a year after her death.

Lauren’s best friend Libby Boland, who said the pair leaned on each other for support during the bullying campaign, told the court in a statement that Lauren was ‘just amazing’.

“There are so many good things to say about her,” she said. “She was the most caring person I ever met.”

The inquest is expected to conclude later this week.

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