Crowd in Derbyshire, UK, encourages teenager to commit suicide
Sunday, October 5, 2008
It has recently been made public that on September 27, seventeen year old Shaun Dykes jumped off a multistory building following encouragement from the crowd. According to the BBC's Today programme, a variety of different people, including youths and middle aged citizens, were telling the teenager to jump.
Alasdair Kay, director of the Derby City Mission, saw the incident unfold. He expressed his shock and disgust at the incident. "People were filming… we could hear people shouting '[J]ump, you,'" she said. "They weren't all just young people, some were middle-aged. To be honest with you I was sickened."
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Should the people encouraging the teen to jump face prosecution?
Derbyshire's Chief Constable Mick Creedon, also yesterday commented on the indent. "The tragic death of Shaun Dykes at Derby on 27th September has attracted much comment and media speculation," he started. "The pain that Shaun's family and friends are suffering must be unimaginable and they have my deepest sympathy."
"The primary responsibility of the police is the protection of life, and the Derbyshire Constabulary will always have this responsibility at the forefront of our response to such tragic events as Shaun's death last Saturday," he continued. "We have very well trained and experienced staff, well practiced in dealing with such incidents and I have no doubt that the officers involved in talking to Shaun on Saturday did their best with the situation they were presented with."
"The fact that they were unsuccessful in negotiating Shaun to safety will have been very painful for them, particularly for the two officers who spent two hours talking directly to him. They have my sincere thanks for their efforts as, I'm sure, they have the thanks of the vast majority of those reading this."
Shaun Dykes, had been raised in a single parent family in a village near Derbyshire and he recently returned from a business course to study to become an accountant or a pilot.
Before his death, he was working part time in a local pub. Craig Doxey, his best friend, described Dykes. "He was always smiling and laughing about stuff. I think if it wasn't for the crowd, Shaun would have got down and got some help from all his mates, work colleagues and the police."
He went to Heanor Gate Science College, and he was openly gay. According to one of his friends from that school, Rebkha Minkley, "he always came in, in the morning with a smile on his face."
According to the Today program, Dykes is believed to have left a suicide note before jumping off the building.
- "Derby's 'public execution'" — , October 4, 2008
- "Chief Constable speaks out after media speculation" — , October 3, 2008