A schoolboy hanged himself by accident when an attention-seeking prank went wrong, an inquest was told yesterday.

Thirteen-year-old Duncan Johnson was found by his mother tied to his bunk bed at his home in West End, Gayle, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire, on May 15, last year.

They had only recently rowed over the purchase of computer games.

The hearing at Richmond Town Hall was told Duncan had missed school the day he died as he had missed the bus to Leyburn and, after a minor argument with his mother, spent the evening in his bedroom.

In a statement read to the inquest, Christine Johnson said she had tried to revive her son after she found him but he was later pronounced dead at the scene.

Duncan's father, Keith, who runs a bookmaker's shop in Hawes, said his son was a prankster.

"I believe his death was a prank that went wrong," he told the hearing. "He was seeking attention from his mother and planned to scare the hell out of her."

Deputy coroner for North Yorkshire West, Geoff Fell, concluded Duncan had no particular problems in his home or school life and recorded a verdict of accidental death.

"There is nothing to indicate he intended to take his own life. I am reasonably sure this was an attention-seeking episode which went tragically wrong."

Mr and Mrs Johnson - who have three other children - paid tribute to police, Wensleydale School, family friends and relatives, who helped the family cope with the tragedy.