A Scottish parents have accused a suspected Nigerian gang of being behind their son’s death after the teenager took his own life following threats by cyber blackmailers to make go viral his nude picture.
Gerard and Teresa Hughes said their 17-year-old son Ronan(pictured), from County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, committed suicide after learning that the faceless criminals hounding him had followed through with a threat to send the images to one of his Facebook friends unless he paid them £3,300.
The heartbroken parents have also criticised the police’s response after they reported the blackmail plot three days before Ronan’s death, Daily Mail reports.
The couple said their ‘quiet, happy-go-lucky’ son had been tricked into sending images on a social network site after receiving pictures of a girl.
Mrs Hughes said her son, a pupil at St Joseph’s Grammar School in Donaghmore, told her about his situation three days before he died.
‘He came to me and said “I’m in trouble here”‘, she said in an interview with the Irish News daily newspaper.
‘He gave me his phone. They were looking for more than £3,000 for an image he had posted and told him they were going to show it to all his friends.
‘They had sent him a list of all his Facebook friends. He texted them back to say “but I’m only 17.”‘
Mr Hughes said he took his son to a police station at Dungannon, but claims there was only one officer on duty and they were told there was ‘not a lot he could do’.
‘I knew Ronan was looking for help and I told him (the officer) that all my son wanted is for these images not to be posted,’ he told the paper.
‘He told us that he couldn’t guarantee that. For Ronan, it was totally dismissive.
‘If the police had given Ronan reassurance and said “we’ll contact IT experts, we’ll close this down, we’ll stop that”, Ronan would still be here today.
‘That’s why he came to us. He wanted help.’
The couple brought their son back to the police station the next day and spent several hours with officers but said they did not hear anything back.
Mrs Hughes said on the day of his death Ronan called her to say a friend had contacted him to say she had received a link containing images, but that she had not opened them.
Mr Hughes left work early to go home amid concerns how his son might react.
When he arrived he found notes on the kitchen table and then discovered his son’s body in a field behind their home.
Source: Daily Mail