“VILE”, “sick” and “disgusting” – just a few words angry social media users have used to describe an offensive comment relating to the tragic death of schoolboy Matthew Hayes.
The author of the comments faced a full-scale Twitter backlash after a Facebook post came to light in which the man appeared to mock the 12-year-old who was hit by a bus on his way home from school in Ryhope on Friday.
In the post on a football banter page, the man hits out at Sunderland supporters, including “dead 12-year-old fans”. The user even appeared to revel in the reaction he got, posting: “This is fun how much attention I’m getting, I feel special.” His account has now been deleted.
Hundreds of people took to Twitter in an attempt to name and shame him. One of them, Matthew’s uncle, Jamie Hayes, called him a “scumbag”.
One user said: “Twitter can introduce you to horrendous people, people you’d never normally interact with, people who have no sense of decency.” Another wrote: “That’s vile, disgusting . The person who mocked the death of the poor 12-year-old bairn from Sunderland really is scum of the earth.”
Details relating to the man’s supposed employer, Lush Cosmetics, were also posted online, with users calling for him to be sacked or the shop to be boycotted in the run-up to Christmas.
However the company later confirmed that he had not worked for them since 2012.
A spokeswoman for Lush cosmetics said: “This is an ex-employee of Lush who left the business in 2012. I would like to assure you that his thoughts are not shared by Lush.”
The company’s official twitter account @LushLtd later tweeted: “Deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Matthew Hayes.
“The death of a child is the saddest thing in the world – not something for flippant Twitter comments or football rivalry.”
Tributes, flowers and notes are still being left at the scene in Ryhope Road where Matthew died.
Schoolfriends from Venerable Bede Academy have been left devastated by the death of their classmate.