Memorial Site Cyber Bully Sent To Prison

Rachel Younger, Sky News correspondent

A man has been jailed for posting vicious messages on memorial sites for four teenagers who died in tragic circumstances.

Sean Duffy, 25 from Reading, was told he had caused "untold harm" through his actions - widely known as 'trolling' - and was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison.

Reading Magistrates' Court heard Duffy found out about tragic deaths in the media, before posting malicious comments, images and videos on websites like Facebook and YouTube.

On top of the jail sentence, the court also handed down an Asbo prohibiting him from registering or creating an account on any social network website for five years.

Duffy was found guilty of two charges under the Malicious Communications Act for targeting a Facebook page set up to remember Natasha MacBryde .


The 15-year-old committed suicide on railway tracks near her home in Bromsgrove on February 14 this year.

A day later Duffy created an anonymous Facebook profile called Tasha the Tank Engine and linked it to her page.

Many of the messages and videos he added to both that site and YouTube are too offensive to report.

Seventeen-year-old Lauren Drew was also targeted after dying in her sleep from an epileptic attack.


Her family said the posts he left about her death - which are also too offensive to repeat - had made them "angry and sickened".

Outside court, her mother Carole Gelder said: "I remember going to lie next to Lauren in the cemetery and thinking 'I can't stop this person hurting her'.

"It's something that we shouldn't have to go through. I'm just glad it's over today."

The court was told Sean Duffy now regretted his actions and that his Asperger's syndrome stopped him realising how much harm he was causing.

But in a statement read out to court Heather Bates, the sister of another of his victims, wrote "No person had any right to put my family through this."