THIS is the man who posted vile messages online about tragic schoolboy Jordan Cooper.
Sick Sean Duffy has been jailed for 18 months for malicious communications which taunted friends and family of the 14-year-old stabbing victim, from Washington, and three other children who died in tragic circumstances.
The 25-year-old, who didn’t know any of the youngsters he targeted via internet “trolling”, created a website group called “Jordan Cooper in pieces”, with a profile picture of a knife with blood dripping off it.
Duffy also made a YouTube video with pictures of Jordan’s eyes crossed out and slashes across his face.
Grieving friends of the popular Biddick School pupil demanded the person responsible be caught.
Unemployed Duffy, of Grovelands Road, Reading, appeared before magistrates in the Berkshire town yesterday, who also banned him from using social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, for five years.
He admitted two offences under the Malicious Communications Act in relation to 15-year-old Natasha MacBryde, who committed suicide.
Magistrates heard he posted a video on YouTube called Tasha the Tank Engine days after the teenager was found dead on a railway line near her home in Worcestershire.
Duffy, who has alcohol problems and Asperger’s syndrome, asked for three further offences to be taken into consideration, relating to Jordan Cooper; Hayley Bates, 16, from Staffordshire, who died in a car crash last September; and Lauren Drew, 14, who died from an epilepsy attack at her home in Gloucester in January.
Duffy’s “trolling” – a term used to describe the trend of anonymously seeking to provoke outrage by posting insults and abuse online – was deemed inexcusable. Defence lawyer Lance Whiteford said: “In terms of mitigation, there is none.
“I cannot imagine the trauma and anxiety caused to the families of these horrible, despicable offences.”
It was claimed that Duffy’s condition meant he was not aware of the effect he was having on his victims.
Paul Warren, chairman of the magistrates’ bench, said: “This case serves to illustrate the harm and damage done by the malicious misuse of social networking sites.”
After the hearing, Detective Chief Inspector James Hahn, of Thames Valley police, said: “Clearly this ha been a very emotive case, that has caused additional distress and suffering for families who have been trying to cope with the loss of loved ones.
“Malicious communication through social networking is a new phenomenon and unfortunately shows how technology can be abused. However, our investigation shows that offenders cannot hide behind their computer screens.”