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British Teen Dies from Burns Sustained at Birthday Party
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Jordan Sheard has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison for the burning death of Steven Simpson, according to the BBC. Sheard pled guilty to the manslaughter charges filed against him. Simpson, 18, was set on fire by Sheard and died one day after he suffered ‘significant burns’ in June of 2012.

Simpson had epilepsy, a speech impairment and Asperger’s syndrome, according to the Yorkshire Post. Simpson was dared to strip to his underwear prior to being covered in tanning oil. Sheard then set him on fire at a party. Found on Simpson’s body were anti-gay messages that said “gay boy” and “I love d*ck.”

  
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The BBC spoke with Detective Sean Middleton, who said Simpson was, “a very caring and likeable young man” and a “generous spirit was taken advantage of and a single thoughtless act resulted in his death.”

The prosecutor working on the case, Tim Warburton, said that the sentence was “within the range of what would be expected had it been considered a hate crime. This was a cruel case of bullying based on Steven’s sexuality and disability. While we accept Jordan did not intend to kill Steven, his actions did lead to his death.”

Andrew Smith, defending Sheard, said: “It was the result of a criminally stupid prank that went wrong in a bad way. He is a pleasant young man with no edge to his character, hard-working and has a degree of intelligence. He has been deeply and significantly affected by what he has done and the tragic consequences that ensued.”

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