Friends say Joshua Unsworth was hounded by internet trolls
The 15-year-old was found dead behind his home in Lancashire
A schoolboy found hanged in his parents’ garden had complained of cyber-bullying on a notorious social networking site, it has emerged, Josh Unsworth, 15, had endured months of abusive messages on his profile on Ask.fm, which has been described by child safety experts as a ‘stalker’s paradise’.
At one point his father Gary, 46, apparently took over the page, threatening to report the abusers to police. Josh himself wrote: ‘Last time I checked, cyber-bullying and “trolling” were a criminal offence.’
Ask.fm has been heavily criticised by anti-bullying charities because it allows users to post anonymous comments or questions – often of a sexual or insulting nature – on the pages of children as young as 13.
It is not covered by British online safety regulations as it is based in Latvia.
An investigation into Josh’s death is at an early stage, and police who have spoken to his family say they have not been made aware he had problems with bullies.
Nevertheless, friends have taken to Facebook to blame bullies for the tragedy.
One wrote: ‘R.I.P Josh Unsworth, we’ll forever remember you! Bullied to death.’ Another said: ‘I hope your bullies can’t sleep at night knowing what they did to you.’
Josh, whose father is sales director of a haulage firm, attended St Cecilia’s Roman Catholic High School in Longridge, Lancashire.
His parents, Gary and Michelle, both 46, yesterday said: ‘Our son Joshua was a thoughtful, loving, compassionate boy. We will miss him dearly.Teachers are understood not to have been aware of problems with bullies, but posts on Joshua’s Ask.fm profile page – which remained online yesterday – make worrying reading. Last September, an anonymous poster wrote that he was a ‘f****** n*****d’. It went on: ‘honestly no one cares for you even your parents don’t want you, there (sic) gunna put you in care’. In response, Josh wrote that his father had looked at his account and planned to report the abuse to police. Messages apparently written by Mr Unsworth followed, demanding an apology and adding he had called the police. Some posts appeared to mock Josh’s father’s occupation, calling the teenager a ‘farmer’, while others accused him of mistreating girls and acting like ‘a player’. In response to a post stating ‘no one likes you’, Josh apparently replied: ‘Let me tell you within that time I have learnt that words are, well, just words so whatever your miserable low life self thinks of me can say to my face or on here knowing I don’t care.’ Many posts however, contained supportive messages, apparently from friends.
Victim: Joshua Unsworth, 15, was found hanged after allegedly being bullied on social media sites
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2305332/Joshua-Unsworth-15-bullied-death-trolls-internet.html#ixzz2PtEusLf2
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