Did Online Trolls Hound Popular Schoolboy To His Death?

14/08/2014 16:48 | Updated 22 May 2015
Did online trolls hound 'popular' schoolboy to his death?

A schoolboy was found hanged in his parents' garden after suspicions he was being bullied online.

According to a report in the local paper, Facebook friends said Josh Unsworth, 15, had endured months of abusive messages on his profile on

At one point his father Gary, 46, apparently took over the page, threatening to report the abusers to police. Josh himself wrote: "Last time I checked, cyber-bullying and trolling were a criminal offence." is not covered by British online safety regulations as it is based in Latvia. Friends have taken to Facebook to blame bullies for the tragedy.

One wrote: "R.I.P Josh Unsworth, we'll forever remember you! Bullied to death."

Another said: "I hope your bullies can't sleep at night knowing what they did to you."

Josh's body was found in the garden of the family's converted farmhouse at Goosnargh, near Preston, Lancashire,last Thursday morning.

His parents, Gary and Michelle, both 46, yesterday said: "Our son Joshua was a thoughtful, loving, compassionate boy. We will miss him dearly."

Several messages on Josh's profile page mocked his background and told Josh 'no-one likes you'.

Josh's headteacher, Steve Tattersall, at at St Cecilia's Roman Catholic High School in Longridge, said he would be asking parents to speak to their children about the possible impact of negative comments on social media.

He said: "I'm aware of some of the comments that are being made about Josh's sad death on social networks, both by those who knew him, and those who did not."

He added: "Josh was always a smiling, friendly presence in school which made him very popular."

Lancashire Police said:"We are in the very early stages of an investigation and it would be premature to speculate about the possible reason for his death."

An inquest will be held at a later date.


Suggest a correction