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Fake Facebook account behind suicide of a schoolboy

A 17-year-old from Co Tyrone took his own life on Friday, after being “tricked and deceived” by a fake Facebook account holder.
A 17-year-old from Co Tyrone took his own life on Friday, after being “tricked and deceived” by a fake Facebook account holder.

According to the  Principal Stephen Magennis of a St Joseph's Primary School, Galbally, schoolboy Ronan Hughes was “tricked and deceived” by a Facebook account set up internationally.

In a letter to pupils Magennis said “A fake Facebook account had been set up in a foreign country, to trick Ronan into thinking he was interacting with people from here.”

The teenager used to gave up his spare time at St Joseph's Grammar school, where he assist three pupils in a 'Reading Support Program.'

Writing to his parents, Mr Magennis said: "Ronan was the victim of ruthless, faceless people, intent on first befriending him and luring him into giving personal information and then sharing images that were used to threaten him in an attempt to extort money.”

Mr Magennis said that the tragic death of Ronan is a reminder and a warning to all parents that our children must be vigilant, and very careful when using the internet. We need to be protective of them and proactive to give them the ability to make informed decisions

Mr Magennis added: "We must not be complacent nor naive as parents. We need to advise our children about staying safe online and monitor what they are doing, saying, writing and sharing online.

Parish priest Fr Benny Fee said: "Ronan did not take his own life but his life was taken from him, and somewhere in the world, maybe far, far away from Clonoe, is a man, a woman or a gang who are guilty of a heinous crime.”

Superintendent Baird said: “If anyone has experienced anything of a similar nature or has received any inappropriate images or links, it is important that they contact Police or tell a trusted adult. By doing this you will be helping prevent further such incidents. You will not get into trouble.
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Cyber Blackmail