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Dad 'Driven To Suicide' By Facebook Trolls Over False Paedophile Claims

14/08/2014 16:50 | Updated 22 May 2015

Dad 'driven to suicide' by Facebook trolls over false paedophile claims

A father was driven to suicide following false paedophile accusations on Facebook, his grieving family say.

Steven Rudderham, 48, was traumatised when his name, address and photograph were published online, along with a message calling him a 'dirty perv' and claiming he was a paedophile.

Within 15 minutes, the message had been shared hundreds of times and the bricklayer from Hull, East Yorkshire, began receiving death threats on Facebook.

An inquest heard that he was found hanged in the city's Hessle cemetery three days later.

Mr Rudderham's daughter Bethany Beaumont, 19, said: "They've destroyed an innocent life for no reason. It was disgusting. It was slander."

His mother Carol Matthews said: "I want to know why someone did something like that. I hope they rot in hell. It took a person's life. We will never get over it."

Police have confirmed they are considering an investigation into the Facebook posts in the days leading up to Mr Rudderham's death.

A Humberside Police spokeswoman said no one had made any allegations of a sexual nature against him.

The inquest heard Mr Rudderham was working towards exams as a building site manager before the internet accusations.

He normally saw his daughter every day and she realised immediately the profound effect the paedophile accusations had on him.

She said: "He just couldn't believe it. He was just looking at the wall and he wouldn't eat. It was like someone had ripped his life apart."

Her dad became afraid of walking the streets in case he was spotted and decided to stay with his daughter to prevent him from being targeted at his home.

Bethany told the Hull inquest even people who had known her father for years joined in the cyber bullying.

She said: "There were people who had known him for years commenting on it. He was so upset. I had never seen him like that.

"He stayed at my house that night because of what the comments were saying, about people coming to his house and smashing it up."

On Saturday, January 26, his body was found hanging in a cemetery by a member of the public.

Recording a verdict of suicide, Coroner Paul Marks said: "The medical cause of death was hanging. He was actively pursuing a qualification to improve his status and job prospects. In the last few days of his life, he received a pejorative message on a social networking site which greatly troubled him."

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