Meet twenty-five year old Sean Duffy.
You’ll be hearing a lot about his hobby in a moment, but for now just take in that face. Sean is the son of a famous internet prankster who makes fake Twitter accounts where he poses as celebrities and says outlandish things. Sean seems to have inherited this from his father but is using it in the worst possible way.
Put simply – this bastard is fucking evil. He preys on the families of the recently deceased, causing them untold pain for his own sick amusement. He abuses the deceased and their families, sets up fake tribute sites and sends sick and taunting messages to distraught family members. Worse than that is that he effectively got away with it, as you’ll see later on.
This is Natasha McBride.
On Valentine’s Day this year the fifteen year old threw herself under a train and died. She had been relentlessly bullied for years over the internet and finally could take no more. Natasha’s seventeen year old brother James started a Facebook page as a memorial where her friends and family could grieve and support each other. This page was found by Duffy who decided that the entire family should learn something of Natasha’s pain by going through cyber-bullying themselves. He set up an account using Natasha’s name and photo and then posted “I fell asleep on the tracks lol” using it. He went on to accuse Natasha of being a “spoiled little slut” and posted an image of her face with the caption “Natasha wasn’t bullied. She was just a whore.”
A few days later he doctored a video of a train so that Natasha’s face was on the front, added the theme tune to Thomas the Tank Engine and posted that to Youtube, linking it on the tribute page. Shockingly this wasn’t the first such attack on the family of deceased teenagers.
Here we have Lauren Drew.
The fourteen year old cheerleader died from an epileptic fit in January and Duffy, reading about it in the news, set up his very own tribute site to her. He posted images of people having epileptic fits and, after being told the site was in bad taste, posted an image of a rotting body covered in maggots with the caption “Apparently I taste pretty good”. On Mothers Day a video of a coffin appeared on the tribute site with the caption “Happy Mother’s Day” and the video ended with the words “I don’t know why you’re all crying down there, it’s soaking here in hell.” In this case Duffy also set up an account impersonating the deceased and messaged the girl’s poor mother with “Help me mummy, it’s hot in Hell” and “I can’t get out of my coffin. I’ve scratched my nails to the bone.”
In a tragic twist to this story of bullying, one of Lauren’s friends was accused of the attacks due to a common spelling mistake she and Duffy shared. The girl was the victim of retaliation for the attacks and eventually took an overdose in an attempt to take her own life. The girl survived thankfully, and has lived to see Duffy convicted of this crime.
One of Duffy’s many other victims was Hayley Bates, a sixteen year old girl from my part of the country.
Last September Hayley was travelling in a car which was hit by a truck. Both she and the driver died. Duffy set up another fake tribute website. In this one a photo of Hayley with crosses through her eyes accompanied the captions “Used car for sale” and “one useless owner” while his photograph of a maggot infested corpse made its first appearance. A later image showed the portion of the road where the crash happened with the caption “Waste of a good car.”
Hayley’s nineteen year old sister Heather confronted Duffy about his messages online and was sent the following message, supposedly from Hayley herself – “It must be boring there on Earth not having someone to have incest with, love you sis”.
Duffy was finally caught after attacking these and other families (including that of a boy who was murdered by his uncle) when his e-mail addresses were tracked by police. Typically his lawyer came up with excuses for his behaviour and Aspergers was chief amongst them as sufferers “are unable to tell the way people will react to events”. Yeah, right. Anyone at twenty-five knows that a family is grieving when their child dies, anyone knows that to exacerbate that grief is wrong and a pretty evil thing to do, and anyone knows that the impersonating the deceased to attack those left behind is one of the most horrific things a person can do. Using a well-known and regularly over-blown fact about a condition like Aspergers as an excuse for actions like this merely cheapens that condition for those who actually suffer from it and don’t do sick things like this.
The lawyer then went on to say that Duffy had become addicted to “the internet phenomenon of trolling”. Quite apart from being sick, the messages this idiot put up aren’t even clever or pointed which sets them aside from those who use trolling as an actual activity and leaves him as one of those who is merely out to hurt people for his own amusement. Trying to confuse that with trolling, where the user is attempting to make something funny, is an attempt to say “Well, everyone’s doing it anyway” on the lawyer’s part. No, they’re obviously not.
Incredibly it seems that these excuses have worked as Duffy has been banned from social networking sites (there is no way to regulate this), given a five year Antisocial Behaviour Order (sadly a badge of honour these days in this country) and eighteen weeks in prison for each of the five cases he’d been prosecuted over. The prison time is to be served concurrently so he gets eighteen weeks maximum punishment for causing these families such heartache and pain. If it were up to me I’d hand him over to the families he spent time insulting and allow them as much time with him as he spent attacking them and free reign to do anything in that time. Now, that’s some sort of justice.