To think that only 3 and a half years for this is beyond belief

(95 Posts)
SherbetVodka Thu 21-Mar-13 18:36:16

I just read this news article [WARNING FROM MNHQ: upsetting content] and cannot BELIEVE that the evil little shit that did this has only got 3 1/2 years. Some people get more than this for ABH for fucks sake shock

Even if it was genuinely manslaughter as opposed to murder, surely he could serve a few more years for what was clearly a sadistic, disgusting crime. He will probably not even have to serve the whole of his sentence and the message he and people like him will have got from the courts is that you can terrorise and torture someone with learning disabilities, even kill them and you'll only have to do a couple of years inside at most sad

I just can't believe this. It's such a sad story, the poor young man who was killed had autism and a speech impediment and had already been forced to move home because of bullying and was very vulnerable by the sound of it. All he wanted to do was celebrate his birthday like any other 18 year old. He was doing no harm to anyone. How can people be this cruel?

Mrsrobertduvall Thu 21-Mar-13 18:39:24

Words fail me.
Can I suggest you maybe get MN to add a warning ..graphic the title. It may upset those with children like Stephen.

SherbetVodka Thu 21-Mar-13 18:42:58

You're right. I will.

StuffezLaBouche Thu 21-Mar-13 18:45:25

I sometimes genuinely wonder what you have to do to get a lengthy prison term in this country. Taking an innocent person's life certainly doesn't guarantee it.

Silvertop Thu 21-Mar-13 18:49:55

I feel outraged by the sentence and cannot fathom why the judge would describe the bullying the young man suffered at his party, having crude messages written on him etc, as horseplay! I feel completely lost for words.

I shouldn't have read that sad Poor boy. I'm so hopelessly angry now - he deserves life in prison at least.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SuburbanRhonda Thu 21-Mar-13 19:12:31

I feel sick and heartbroken at what happened to this poor young man.

Whorulestheroost Thu 21-Mar-13 19:18:07

God I agree with you all I'm speechless - poor poor boy sad

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 21-Mar-13 19:21:35

Not even going to open the link because I know it will upset and anger me too much, based on what I gather from the posts here. I can guess though. Person with disability killed horribly but it doesn't matter as much as it would do if it was a Normal Person, so the judge let them off lightly.

Terrifies me. It's things like this that make me feel like I will NEVER let the world loose on my children (both autistic). I want to protect them for ever.

SherbetVodka Thu 21-Mar-13 19:35:51

Yes, ImTooHecsy that does appear to be what's happened here. Of course there's no proof that the shockingly light sentence was because the victim had ASD but its hard not to think that when you read it.

I don't blame you for feeling that way about your children, I'd be the same. I can't imagine what this poor boy's parents must be going through.

Talkinpeace Thu 21-Mar-13 19:41:55

A slightly more measured report of the same story - by the paper local to where they both lived.
Jordan has a life sentence : everybody in his home town knows he's a homophobic idiot.

Buddhagirl Thu 21-Mar-13 19:55:33

He will be out in a year and a half.

Wonder if he knew it would set him alight and kill him when he did it.

this is shocking... that poor young man... no-one turned up to his birthday party, so he went out & invited people back. sad

& then that little bastard turns up & humiliates him, before murdering him- and gets a poxy 3 1/2 years?

really? is that all a life is worth?

SherbetVodka Thu 21-Mar-13 20:14:10

Jordan has a life sentence : everybody in his home town knows he's a homophobic idiot.

He still has a life though. One that's only going to be put on hold for a year and a half before he can carry on with it hmm

Softlysoftly Thu 21-Mar-13 20:14:42

The thing is with aspergers he will have "played along" with his bullying, not totally understood they were actually being horrible.

The judge seems to think it's manslaughter as he wasnt protesting at his treatment, total disregard for his mental difference.

God that's just so sad on his birthday after noone who actually cared for him turned up sad

Sorry talkinpeace but that is utter bullshit.He can move 20miles down the road and go on living his life without people knowing what he did.

HollyBerryBush Thu 21-Mar-13 20:17:19

What happened to those who 'egged him on' ?

The sentences in this country very rarely fit the crime and i think it is utterly disgusting that someone can do such evil and pretty much get away with it. If you take a life or torture somebody then life behind bars should be the result if not worse.

SherbetVodka Thu 21-Mar-13 20:21:23

The thing is with aspergers he will have "played along" with his bullying, not totally understood they were actually being horrible.

If that was the case then I really hope he never realised the intent was malicious even when they set him alight, if that's at all possible.

AmberLeaf Thu 21-Mar-13 20:24:55

Jordan has a life sentence : everybody in his home town knows he's a homophobic idiot

What?? Oh Im sure that will really affect him.

That judge is an idiot, horseplay?

Yes, as Steven had autism, he would have thought they were his friends.

Im sickened by this.

Maggie111 Thu 21-Mar-13 20:32:25

My heart is breaking reading that story. 3.5 years is disgusting.

BarredfromhavingStella Thu 21-Mar-13 21:03:29

I read this story earlier & felt absolute rage towards this fucking cunt of a parasite angry what a big man he must be...
My heart broke for his poor victim.

AmberLeaf Thu 21-Mar-13 21:20:06

I keep reading it.

It breaks my heart that Steven was so desperate for some friends to celebrate his birthday with him, that he went out and brought back those bastards and went along with their so called 'horseplay'

This sort of thing is why society has to change and neurotypical people need to do more to accommodate people with autism, not the other way round.

Those bastards that murdered Steven, are the children who now call my autistic son 'weird', but in 10 years time.

This sort of thing is why schools/parents should come down very hard on children who tease other children with disabilities, it is just not acceptable. except it is and that is why so many people with disabilities are abused on a regular basis.

Catchingmockingbirds Thu 21-Mar-13 21:40:30

A warning would have been nice!

I read about this story just after it happened, and just after my son was dx with AS too. It still makes me tear up reading about it. 3 1/2 years isn't enough.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 21-Mar-13 21:57:30


We've added a warning to the OP now, at SherbetVodka's request.

landofsoapandglory Thu 21-Mar-13 22:05:37

It's sickening. How can anyone justify giving someone 3.5 years for killing someone? That poor boy.sad

thezebrawearspurple Fri 22-Mar-13 00:10:40

Sickening. How on earth was this not prosecuted as a hate crime????

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 22-Mar-13 01:10:04

Some sentences handed out make no sense at all.

Surely the lad being more vulnerable due to autism should load more time onto the sentence.

And as to the homophobe comment given how many bigoted thick people there are around who tend to gravitate towards other bigoted people its unlikely that being a homophobe will cause him to have problems.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 22-Mar-13 01:14:27

And I'm with amber on this the vile person who did this is not that different from the kids today who regularly abuse my children because they are disabled he is just a bit older.

Perhaps next time a colluding parent gets asked to deal with there precious obnoxious child because they are victimising a disabled child they may think along the lines of there precious doing something like this in a decade or so and rather than smiling and brushing the behaviour under the carpet it may prompt them to actually stop the behaviour and highlight just how wrong it is.

izzyizin Fri 22-Mar-13 03:40:54

As it would appear the sentence handed down is unduly lenient it's to be hoped that, if the DPP haven't already set the wheels in the motion, the Attorney General will refer this case to the Court of Appeal.

AmberLeaf Fri 22-Mar-13 08:24:08

Surely the lad being more vulnerable due to autism should load more time onto the sentence

You would think so wouldn't you?

Sadly that part of it appears to have been totally overlooked by the judge.

ohmentalnessisme Fri 22-Mar-13 09:22:34

What a joke that sentence is! It's like his life was worth less than a nt person's sad how the fuck was that not murder?!

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Fri 22-Mar-13 09:35:32

You can write to the attorney general and ask for the sentence to be looked at. I did that once before (it was Baroness Scotland at the time) and the sentence was increased. (Lots of other people wrote too, it wasn't just me.) You can't change a sentence because you don't like it but it can be increased if the judge hasn't taken mitigating factors into account or if it is simply unduly lenient.

AmberLeaf Fri 22-Mar-13 09:39:03

Where would I find the details of who to write to IThink?

AmberLeaf Fri 22-Mar-13 09:43:05

Ive found the current attorney general, but I cant find an address to write to him?

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Fri 22-Mar-13 09:43:22
OnceUponAThyme Fri 22-Mar-13 09:43:50

this terrifies me. I can only imagine how his family must feel sad

kweggie Fri 22-Mar-13 09:44:44

If you are upset about this,and the lenient sentence, PLEASE contact your Member of Parliament and tell them-you can email them through 'They work for you'. I can't think of many issues more important than this. Poor poor boy.

SolomanDaisy Fri 22-Mar-13 09:45:03

I thought that anything with a hate crime element was supposed to have additional sentencing for that element? Whether there was a disability hate crime element or not, there was certainly evidence of homophobia.

I am shock, that someone can describe being known as a homopohobic idiot as his life sentence. Bit of minimisation there? His reputation will hopefully be that of a murderous bully, which is hardly a life sentence anyway, is it?

AmberLeaf Fri 22-Mar-13 10:00:37

The Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP
The House of Commons

AmberLeaf Fri 22-Mar-13 10:02:13

Cross posted.

Thanks IThink.

kweggie Fri 22-Mar-13 10:24:14

Courts do have the power to look at the surrounding circumstances and take them into account during sentencing for example

s146 Criminal Justice Act 2003
146Increase in sentences for aggravation related to disability or sexual orientation.

(1)This section applies where the court is considering the seriousness of an offence committed in any of the circumstances mentioned in subsection (2). .
(2)Those circumstances are— .
(a)that, at the time of committing the offence, or immediately before or after doing so, the offender demonstrated towards the victim of the offence hostility based on— .
(i)the sexual orientation (or presumed sexual orientation) of the victim, or .
(ii)a disability (or presumed disability) of the victim, or .
(b)that the offence is motivated (wholly or partly)— .
(i)by hostility towards persons who are of a particular sexual orientation, or .
(ii)by hostility towards persons who have a disability or a particular disability. .
(3)The court— .
(a)must treat the fact that the offence was committed in any of those circumstances as an aggravating factor, and .
(b)must state in open court that the offence was committed in such circumstances. .
(4)It is immaterial for the purposes of paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (2) whether or not the offender’s hostility is also based, to any extent, on any other factor not mentioned in that paragraph. .
(5)In this section “disability” means any physical or mental impairment.

I wonder how much weight was given to the homophobia and disabalist(sp?) attitude shown.

I do think the AG needs to look at this one.

ukatlast Fri 22-Mar-13 11:05:49

YANBU What a disgrace of a judge!

TheChaoGoesMu Fri 22-Mar-13 11:06:31

This is appalling. Desperately sad. The sentence is an absolute joke.

belfastbigmillie Fri 22-Mar-13 11:10:01

I read this last night and both DH and I were in tears. That poor, poor boy. My feelings towards his murderer are not kind. Disability hate crimes are on the increase. I blame the government/ Daily Mail/ You tube society we now live in.

AmberLeaf Fri 22-Mar-13 11:39:21

Please consider contacting the attorney general and asking him to review the sentence.

How to complain

Contact the Attorney General’s Office as soon as possible after the sentence is passed. The time limit for making a complaint is 28 days after sentencing.

Provide as much information as you can about the case, eg the:

name of the person who got the sentence Jordan Sheard
date the sentence was given 21st march 2013
court where the case was held sheffield crown court
crime committed Manslaughter

AmberLeaf Fri 22-Mar-13 11:40:58
SherbetVodka Fri 22-Mar-13 11:44:57

Thank you Amber, I'm going to use that link to make a complaint and will also contact my MP. Hope lots of other people will do the same.

AmberLeaf Fri 22-Mar-13 11:53:01

You're welcome Sherbet, I'm going to do it right now.

ICBINEG Fri 22-Mar-13 12:06:19

I am slightly speechless about this. I am not in favour in any sense of punishment being a part of the way we deal with criminals but I cannot imagine this person will be safe to release into the community within 3.5 years and I absolutely cannot believe the downgrading of the deterrent for killing a person with a disability with respect to one without. Hate crimes are different because there is a lot more work to do to rehabilitate the criminal. That surely necessitates a longer sentence.

I've just emailed the AG asking for a review as an Unduly Lenient sentence.

merlincat Fri 22-Mar-13 12:45:23

Thanks Amber, have emailed the AG.

Bridgetbidet Fri 22-Mar-13 12:57:15

I'm from the local area and I think I might have known Steven. Well I think I might, there was a lad who looked very like him who used to chat to a lot of people locally and I haven't seen him for a while. But I hadn't heard this has happened until it was reported in the mail today. It's incredibly sad.

And to the person who said he has the 'life sentence' of everyone in his home town knowing he's a homophobe. It's Barnsley, not Islington you fool. He's hardly going to be tarred and feathered for that in a pit town. I would say it is, if not the norm a view held by a sizeable minority.

AmberLeaf Fri 22-Mar-13 12:58:30

Ive posted the thread below in chat also in SNs.

I posted a direct plea for people to request a review as it may be missed within another thread IYSWIM?

Hope you don't mind me linking it Sherbet?

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 22-Mar-13 13:13:44


I've had a reply from the AG's office. They are requesting more information from the CPS so the Law Officers can decide if it should be referred to the Court of Appeal as being unduly lenient.

Its still worth emailing / writing even though the process has now been started and will be asssessed on legal grounds. Its important that aggrevating factors that are indicative of a hate crime are taken seriously.

Icedcakeandflower Fri 22-Mar-13 13:36:57
AmberLeaf Fri 22-Mar-13 13:57:48

I got that reply too Chaz, but yes, the more requests the better, if they see huge public outrage, it has to help surely?

Definately worth emailing because I think it might focus minds on issues wider than this case i.e. how are these types of hate crimes dealt with. Perhaps the guidence to Judges needs to be looked at.

Icedcakeandflower Fri 22-Mar-13 14:14:03


SherbetVodka Fri 22-Mar-13 14:27:33

Amber, of course I don't mind. The more people who know about this and hopefully contact the attorney general about it the better.

I'm surprised there's been so little about what happened to Steven Simpson in the media, it only seems to be the tabloids who are covering it at all sad

AmberLeaf Fri 22-Mar-13 14:36:30

Thanks Sherbet.

I don't watch TV, has it not been covered on national or regional news reports? does anyone know?

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 22-Mar-13 15:33:42


SherbetVodka Fri 22-Mar-13 15:36:51

Presumably it's been on the BBC news as it was on their website but I'm really surprised that there's been nothing about it in the guardian or independent or telegraph.

I have written to the attorney general about this.

As the sister of a gay man and the mother of a daughter with SN this makes me sad and angry in equal measure.

Icedcakeandflower Fri 22-Mar-13 17:18:37

bumping up for the evening crowd

timtam23 Fri 22-Mar-13 22:25:27

I saw this on BBC website yesterday and after reading what happened to Steven I was really shocked that the sentence was only 3 and a half years. I've just emailed the attorney general and have particularly mentioned that there are features suggestive of a hate crime. I hope he will ask for a review of the sentence.

CardinalRichelieu Fri 22-Mar-13 22:30:18

For murder there has to be intent to kill or cause Gbh. I am very surprised that setting fire to someone was not held to be intention to cause Gbh. But even for manslaughter there can be a life sentence, it just isn't mandatory. I agree, way too low.

I agree! It is utterly incredible that such a horrific crime brought him less time in jail than if he had burgled a house or stolen a car.

I do not know what that judge was thinking!!!!


TheNebulousBoojum Sat 23-Mar-13 06:29:20


TheNebulousBoojum Sat 23-Mar-13 08:06:47

There's a short paragraph in The Metro (Friday's edition) on p7.
Selective quotation:
' ....Mr Simpson was bullied and taunted about his disability and his sexuality, and made to dance naked at the party, jurors heard. He suffered serious burns....and died two days later.
His disability and sexuality were used as weapons against him'

No mention of horseplay or pranks, the Metro has been more analytical and honest than the judge.

Mia4 Sat 23-Mar-13 09:31:15

That's disgusting. Just finished reading the comments, Amber if you want to promote what about using to make a petition?

AmberLeaf Sat 23-Mar-13 10:20:41

That Metro article is good.

I will look into that Mia, thanks.

SherbetVodka Sat 23-Mar-13 10:46:39

Has everyone who's written to the attorney general had a response? I haven't had any acknowledgment of my email (sent early yesterday afternoon) and am wondering if that means it hasn't gone through.

I wish Id never read this sad My ds has aspergers.

Words fail me.

AmberLeaf Sat 23-Mar-13 11:50:59

Sherbet, have you seen the sticked MN thread about a guest blog post, it is at the top of active conversations.

It is about the need for a specific offence of disability hate crime;

AmberLeaf Sat 23-Mar-13 11:51:40

I got an email response pretty quickly after I emaled them, ab0ut 10 minutes later.

smupcakes Sat 23-Mar-13 12:06:48

I saw this article a few days ago and was crying for 15 minutes after reading it

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 23-Mar-13 13:58:06


midori1999 Sat 23-Mar-13 14:16:24

This is awful. Not only are there people in the world sick enough to do something like this, but they practically get away with it too.

My son has Downs Syndrome and I agree with the other posters who say this just makes you want to keep them close and protect them from the vile world we live in.

AmberLeaf Sat 23-Mar-13 14:38:38

Yes midori, my autistic son is theoretically high functioning enough to possibly live independantly one day, because of things like this case, I am loathe to let that happen.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 23-Mar-13 14:44:11

My DS is vulnerable in the sense that if someone tried to write Gayboy on him, or intentionally splattered him with something, he'd flatten them hard. He doesn't understand 'horseplay' unless it's with small relatives.
Would I rather visit him in prison for GBH or watch him die in agony in hospital?
No question.

AmberLeaf Sat 23-Mar-13 14:48:05

I think that would be the reaction of my son if things got physical too TheNeb.

Him getting in serious trouble because some small minded cruel twat picks on him is a big concern.

All he wants is to be left alone.

merlincat Sat 23-Mar-13 17:09:52

I got a holding reply within a few minutes. I've also emailed my Green MP (Brighton) who should have forthright views about the homophobic violence. I'd like to see that little snivelling worm who did this dumped into Kemptown (the gay clubbing area round here) when the clubs are emptying out; don't think there'd be much left of him by morning.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 23-Mar-13 18:31:14


ShellyBoobs Sat 23-Mar-13 20:08:14

I don't watch TV, has it not been covered on national or regional news reports? does anyone know?

It was covered at the time the murder happened. I remember it clearly. sad

link to news item from when it happened

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 23-Mar-13 21:25:44


saggyhairyarse Sat 23-Mar-13 23:09:45

I am pretty sure that their will be an appeal against the sentence and the judges summing up that the victim was enjoying the events of that evening; the judge obviously does not have the first clue.

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 24-Mar-13 10:02:27


SherbetVodka Sun 24-Mar-13 11:19:19

Hmm looks like my email just didn't go through properly then. I'll give it another go tomorrow. Really hope the sentence does get reviewed.

I've emailed too, it's a shockingly lenient sentence.

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 24-Mar-13 18:43:22


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