UK

Daniel Perry 'Killed Himself After Being Blackmailed On Skype', Family Say

16/08/2013 08:11 BST
PA
Generic stock photo shows a woman's hands using a laptop keyboard. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday August 6, 2013. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

A Scottish teenager who killed himself was being blackmailed via Skype, thinking he was talking to a girl his age, his family said.

Police are investigating after it emerged Daniel Perry, 17, from Dunfermline, Fife, is thought to have fallen victim to a scam where internet users are lured into online chats and then blackmailed with the footage.

The teenager is said to have believed he was talking to a girl and took his life on July 15 when he was told the conversations would be shared with friends and family unless he paid up.

It is understood he was sent a message which warned that his life would not be worth living unless he deposited money into a named account.

"Knowing him as I do, he has felt embarrassed, horrified and thought he's let everyone down," his mother Nicola told the Daily Telegraph.

"He was coming up for his 18th birthday so it's not as if we could have been checking what he was doing on his laptop.

"But he wasn't doing anything wrong, just what anyone his age might do.

"Even if he came to me and said he needed money we'd have helped him but we knew nothing about any of it.

"He was not the type of person who let things get him down. He was a happy laddie, not depressed and the last type of person you would think would take their life.”

Police Scotland told the BBC the case was being investigated and urged anyone who feared they were being targeted to contact them.

The case follows that of 14-year-old Hannah Smith in Leicestershire who took her life after she was allegedly bullied online.

Hannah Smith, 14, was found hanged in her bedroom at the family home by her sister two weeks ago.

Her family say she had endured months of torment on controversial question-and-answer website ask.fm, but it has also been reported she sent herself the majority of the abusive messages.

Hannah's father, David Smith, has banned mourners from wearing black at his daughter's funeral and asked them to instead opt for brightly coloured clothing.

Smith, a 45-year-old trucker from Lutterworth, Leicestershire, has also been reported to have asked Hannah's friends to wear onesies because his daughter loved them, and would be smiling knowing they were wearing them.

Hundreds of people are expected to attend the service at St Mary's Church in the town, which also opened a book of condolence for people to sign following Hannah's death.

Her service will be conducted by the Reverend Charlie Styles, and will celebrate the teenager's life.

A statement on the church's website said: "During the service a candle will be lit in Hannah's memory and prayers will be said for her family and friends.

"Dave has asked that a selection of the comments from the book of memories be read aloud as a tribute to his daughter."

If you have been affected by the issues raised in this article, help is available, call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90