Man Sentenced to 3.5years for Setting 'Friend' Alight

21/03/2013

Jordan Sheard has today been sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment for causing the death of Steven Simpson after setting him alight at his 18th birthday party.

Prosecutor Tim Warburton said:

"This is a cruel case of bullying based on the fact Steven's sexuality and disability.

"Steven had Asperger's Syndrome and significant learning difficulties but was getting on well and had recently started college where he was studying life skills. On his course he made some new friends and decided to have a few of them over to his house to celebrate his 18th birthday.

"The focus of the party quickly turned to Steven and his sexuality. He was encouraged to take off his shirt and dance around, he had obscene pictures and writing scrawled on his body and was sprayed with suntan oil.

"Jordan Sheard approached Steven and held a lighter to his genital area. He lit the lighter and the suntan oil acted as an accelerant.

"Steven died days later as a result of the extensive burns he had suffered.

"Whilst we accept Jordan did not intend to kill Steven, his actions did lead to his death. His disability and sexuality were used as  weapons against him with the group of friends taking advantage of his naivety.

"We put the full details of the prosecution to the court and to Jordan. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was today sentenced to 3 years and 6 months."