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Topic Summary
Posted on: March 25, 2013, 06:23:23 pm
Posted by: caskur™
Reading 'troll' jailed for cyber bullying
By Paul Cassell

An alcoholic loner from West Reading who tore apart the lives of grieving families by posting abusive messages and videos about dead teenagers has been jailed.

Internet 'troll' Sean Duffy has been jailed for
18 weeks for cyber-bullying

Cyber bully Sean Duffy, of Grovelands Road, is one of the first people in the country to be convicted of ‘trolling’ – the act of posting inflammatory content on the internet.

The 25-year-old appeared before Reading Magistrates’ Court yesterday having admitted two counts of sending offensive communications and asked for three other similar matters to be taken into account.

Joanne Belsey, prosecuting, told how Duffy posted a string of insulting comments on a Facebook page in memory of teenager Natasha MacBryde, who threw herself under a train in Bromsgrove after being bullied.

He later posted a video on YouTube called Tasha The Tank Engine, featuring the 15-year-old’s face on an image of children’s character Thomas The Tank Engine.

Duffy, who had never met those he attacked, posted comments on similar sites in memory of Laura Drew, 14, from Gloucestershire, Hayley Bates, 16, from Staffordshire, and Jordan Cooper, 14, who had all died.

Lance Whiteford, defending, was unable to offer a reason for what he called “horrible and despicable offences”, but despite Duffy’s denial suggested it could be related to Asperger’s syndrome.

He explained that Duffy had suffered with the condition and had an “unhealthy obsession” with serial killers, murder and death. He added the defendant had been bullied at school and work and had struggled to hold down a job leading to his drinking and depression.

Paul Warren, chairing the bench, sentenced Duffy to serve 18 weeks for each offence to be served concurrently and handed him a five-year ASBO.

The ASBO specified he must not sign up to or upload any content on any social networking site or purchase any device with internet access without notifying police.

Sentencing, Mr Warren said: “You have caused untold distress and suffering to family and friends including children.”

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