Three and a half years for the horrific murder of boy with autism? Seriously? [Warning, distressing content]

(45 Posts)
kweggie Thu 21-Mar-13 23:07:56

''Yob killed gay teenager by setting him on fire at his 18th birthday party

During the party Steven Simpson was doused in tanning oil before he was set alight by Jordan Sheard
A paramedic who treated the young victim reported seeing the words 'Gay Boy' written on his forehead
Steven suffered 60 per cent burns and died in June last year
Sheard was jailed for three years and six months after pleading guilty to manslaughter
as reported in the Mail online....the whole article is deeply shocking.

IMO this boy was TORTURED and it beggars belief that the judge that described it as' horseplay that got out of hand'. Is this acceptable?

edam Thu 21-Mar-13 23:09:27

Good grief, that's appalling - the murder and the lenient sentence (manslaughter may be the legal term but sheesh, actually in normal plain English it's murder).

Passiveaggressivecakeeater Thu 21-Mar-13 23:12:20

I feel sick.

lotsofdogshere Fri 22-Mar-13 08:53:07

I feel sick as well - awful. My grandson is 20 and on the autistic spectrum. He had a statement at school as though very bright, needed support on a number of levels. Reading this just brought home again, how vulnerable people with autism or other forms of "invisible' as well as visible disability are. I am not a hang and flog type, but agree, 3 1/2 years, it just doesn't seem an appropriate sentence at all.

Get more for robbery . I'm
Speechless. Unbelievable

kweggie Fri 22-Mar-13 09:17:28

It was my 16 year old dd who found the report and showed it to me.She sobbed and sobbed-'Mum, it would be like doing it to a child'.
If you google 'three and a half year sentence' it brings up things like 'robbery' and 'burglary'.....

IMO the judge is telling the perpetrator what we, Society , think of this crime. And IMO his sentence seems to say,'not that bothered'. How SHOCKING is that.

AmberLeaf Fri 22-Mar-13 09:23:40

It is also being discussed here

It is disgusting, the judge has not given any consideration to the fact that Steven Simpson was a vulnerable young man with disabilities.


Melpomene Fri 22-Mar-13 09:26:34

What a sad story. Three and a half years is a sick joke. Did the killer have a learning disability too, or mental health problem? Why was it manslaughter rather than murder?

AmberLeaf Fri 22-Mar-13 09:30:12

Nothing to suggest the killer had any learning difficulty.

I think it was deemed manslaughter because of the so called 'horseplay' that led to it, the horseplay that appears to have actually been humiliation and torture.

kweggie Fri 22-Mar-13 10:59:10

Please take a minute to express your misgivings to Dominic Grieve, the attorney general

correspondence(insert the at sign here)

AmberLeaf Fri 22-Mar-13 11:32:35

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

Icedcakeandflower Fri 22-Mar-13 12:54:46


Bumping this as it's so appalling. I have a 7 y o who is on the Autistic Spectrum and this makes me never want to let him out of my sight. So so sad

KatieMiddleton Fri 22-Mar-13 12:59:15

That's horrific. It's really not much more than Pryce and Huhne got for perverting course of justice.

Icedcakeandflower Fri 22-Mar-13 13:23:50


Sunnywithshowers Fri 22-Mar-13 13:26:03


Icedcakeandflower Fri 22-Mar-13 13:32:00
Timetoask Fri 22-Mar-13 13:37:32

This is murder, worst the murder, the poor boy was tortured by being burned. The murderer should be locked up for life. What is clouding the judgement with these so called legal experts. That poor poor boy, I feel sick to my stomach.

My eldest son has special needs, and this type of news really makes me fear for his future.

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


KateSMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 22-Mar-13 15:26:34

Hello all,

We've just edited the title of the thread to make it less graphic.

KatieMiddleton Fri 22-Mar-13 15:49:02

But it doesn't mean anything now KateS. I think you could have the word "killing" in the thread title without anyone reaching for the smelling salts.

lisad123everybodydancenow Fri 22-Mar-13 15:56:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AmberLeaf Fri 22-Mar-13 15:59:38

Why make it less graphic?

It was an awful things that happened, but it happened, I don't understand editing this title?

Who are you worried about upsetting?

Sorry but the reason 3 and a half years is a disgrace, is because it was for a horrific murder, so of course the title should reflect that!

AmberLeaf Fri 22-Mar-13 16:08:48

Jordan Sheard did 'burn an autistic boy to death'

I have an autistic son, reading such words in a MN thread title won't upset me, I worry about this sort of thing anyway.

Stuff like this being hushed up so as not to offend/upset someone is ridiculous.

I have written to the attorney general requesting a review of the sentence today, I have done that because I was able to read about this horrific crime.

I have done as much as one person can do, please don't start censoring thread titles that may be awful enough to spur posters into action.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 22-Mar-13 16:10:37

Make it less graphic and an incomplete title and more people may click on it.
People are usually only interested in things that directly affect them. If the title had the word 'autistic' in it, that would be enough to switch some posters off without clicking.
The wider the audience, the better IMO.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 22-Mar-13 16:11:36

I have an 18 year old boy on the spectrum who has attended several parties this year. Fortunately his friends are exactly that.

AmberLeaf Fri 22-Mar-13 16:18:51

Maybe TheNebulous, but I don't think that is why MNHQ censored it.

KatieMiddleton Fri 22-Mar-13 16:57:53

I wouldn't click on it as it is. I would click on a title that was something like "Just 3 and a half years for torture and killing, seriously?"

I think you have made the wrong call on this HQ.

hackmum Fri 22-Mar-13 17:11:23

This is the most distressing thing I've read in a long time. If you pour oil on someone, and set fire to them, you know what the consequences will be. I can't believe that someone doing that could get 3 1/2 years. I don't understand why the other people who egged him on should get away scot-free. I've got no idea what the judge was thinking. Just unbelievable.

KateSMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 22-Mar-13 17:34:21


Why make it less graphic?

It was an awful things that happened, but it happened, I don't understand editing this title?

Who are you worried about upsetting?

Sorry but the reason 3 and a half years is a disgrace, is because it was for a horrific murder, so of course the title should reflect that!

Good point AmberLeaf - sorry, our first edit probably wasn't the best. We've now edited the title to accurately reflect what happened.

cocolepew Fri 22-Mar-13 17:41:14

Horrific, I'm speechless.

AmberLeaf Fri 22-Mar-13 17:52:24

Thanks KateS.

KatieMiddleton Fri 22-Mar-13 18:09:27

Thanks KateS but you may want to revise the word murder, because although that's exactly what it is to my mind and many others, it has been found to be manslaughter, not murder.

AmberLeaf Fri 22-Mar-13 18:42:30

That's maybe my fault, 'horrific murder' were the words I used.

IMO it was murder, but yes the charge was manslaughter.

changeforthebetter Fri 22-Mar-13 19:11:05

This is truly atrocious. The poor man. I am incredulous at the sentence. 'Horseplay' is like something out of the 1950s angry

Agree. It looks as if sentence reduced to reflect guilty plea and the fact that (apparently) there was no intention to kill or to cause serious harm (although personally I find that hard to believe).

I don't know the ins-and-outs of the case (no transcript and sentence details sketchy). However, am surprised that account was not taken of the "disability hate" element of the crime which surely should have justified a higher sentence. The fact that it was perpetrated by a so-called "friend" on a vulnerable person (and a person known to be vulnerable) is part of what makes it so horrific.

Agree should make case to Attorney General, but also more attention needs to be given to these types of hate crime.

There is an excellent piece by Katherine Quarmby in Disability Now and a report on Disability Hate Crime by Scope,

Both make really harrowing reading, and show how much has yet to be done - there is a suggestion that crimes involving disability hate are not treated with the same seriousness by the judiciary (and others) as those motiviated by racial hatred. Whilst not wanting to downplay the latter, it is time we played much more attention to attacks on those who are "different" because of a disability (visual or not).

edam Fri 22-Mar-13 21:30:00

quite Sarah. I don't understand why it is so hard for the authorities to realise that discrimination is wrong, whether the discrimination is to do with race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age... whatever the protected characteristic, discrimination is WRONG and should be taken seriously. It's almost as if the white male upper classes think 'ooh, race is a serious matter, better be careful about that one, but other forms of hatred and discrimination aren't as bad'.

alexpolismum Sat 23-Mar-13 18:49:36


Please take the time to complain to the Attorney General about this low sentence

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 23-Mar-13 21:26:20


fromparistoberlin Sun 24-Mar-13 22:28:28

that sentance is awfully low

terrible story, may that poor boy rest in peace

Icedcakeandflower Mon 25-Mar-13 06:41:13


Just written.

Here's a reminder of the link about how to complain about a crown court sentence.

DwellsUndertheSink Thu 18-Apr-13 14:23:21

"Having carefully reviewed this case, the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC MP, has decided to refer the sentence to the Court of Appeal as a possibly unduly lenient sentence.

"The case will in due course be heard by three Court of Appeal judges who will decide whether or not to increase the sentence. "

KristinaM Thu 18-Apr-13 19:00:32

Thanks for that update

timtam23 Fri 19-Apr-13 00:04:32

Dwells I got that email this evening too. Hopefully the Court of Appeal judges will give a more proportionate sentence.

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