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'Heroic' Man Describes Horror

Monday April 8 2013

Steven Simpson Steven Simpson

A MAN described as a hero by a judge has told of the horror he faced as he tried in vain to rescue a teenager who died after being covered in tanning oil and set on fire.

Steven Simpson, who suffered from Asperger's Syndrome, died after a prank went horribly wrong at his home on Pleasant View, Cudworth, where he was celebrating his 18th birthday.

Sean Banner, his 40-year-old neighbour, tried to save him, but has been left devastated and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after the events in June 2011.

"I can still hear Steven screaming 'please help me'," he said. "I'm sick every day, I don't sleep - I only have about ten minutes every three days and when I do I have nightmares. What's happened ruined Steven's life and has ruined mine."

Sean said he checked on the group at about 10.30pm and then again at about 2.15am, asking them to keep the noise down.

He said Steven seemed to be having a good time, but noticed he was only wearing jeans and trainers and was covered in lipstick writing.

Sean recalled: "All of a sudden Steven came running into the hallway and he was on fire from his toes up to his shins."

He dragged Steven into the bathroom where he threw him into the bath and turned on the taps.

"Everyone was screaming and then they all ran off and left me. I tried putting him in the bath, but the flames went out and then kept coming back."

Sean called the emergency services, and both he and Steven were taken to hospital. Steven died the next day.

But despite his heroic efforts, Sean was arrested and became a suspect in what by then was a murder investigation.

CCTV cameras which had been installed outside his house confirmed his story.

"If it wasn't for those cameras, I would be doing 25 years for trying to save a lad's life," said Sean. "I just wanted to help him so much - it breaks my heart. There were 30 people there and not one of them helped me. If one person had, it would be a different story."

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Reply Posted by Unknown on Monday April 8 2013 at 11:37
You're a true hero Sean and you deserve a medal for being so brave with what you did. The others who ran away are cowards and will have this to live with for the rest of there lives. I hope you get some kind of recognition for what you did to try to save him. I also hope that you get the help that you need to overcome this ordeal that you've been put through by just being a good neighbour

Reply Posted by Kit on Monday April 8 2013 at 11:42
30 people and no one stopped to help, they all ran away. Yet it was a prank, a joke, not meant to happen. The boy who as been found guilty is sorry. The rest of them are sorry. No one in Cudworth are allowed an opinion on this because the friends and family of the accused say so. Anyone who dares voice an opinion recieve a backlash. Threatening txts, inbox messages, threats and aggression. So the bullying continues even after Steven as gone. Mr Banner continues to re-live the horror and i commend him for his actions and for speaking up. Rip Steven, you will never be forgotten.

Reply Posted by pete on Monday April 8 2013 at 12:37
prats the lot of them they should all be held and charged for manslaughter

Reply Posted by Emma on Monday April 8 2013 at 20:25
Is that true kit?

Reply Posted by Anna S. on Wednesday April 10 2013 at 15:41
KIT: That aint gonna bring him back ,is it?
Really hope my friends don't run away leaving me to DIE!

Setting someone on fire...??A PRANK???

PETE Totally agree with u!

R.I.P Steven x

Reply Posted by julie on Wednesday April 10 2013 at 15:44
Disgusting set of people, each and everyone of them .
I hope Sean will one day be able to move forward with his life . I really feel for this man, We all have a story but that's a heck of a life burden to carry with you .
Peace and love Sean

Reply Posted by Daniel Smith on Wednesday April 10 2013 at 15:57
You did the best you could Sean mate i hope u find peace you showed courage when you could have followed the "crowd" i hope you get the recognition you deserve mate

Reply Posted by Anna on Wednesday April 10 2013 at 16:20
It shames us as a town that this happened here, that a vulnerable young man was bullied, tormented and then killed whilst people stood and watched. How the hell do you set fire to someone and not expect them to be at the very least in agony? Monsters indeed. I weep for this boy who only wanted acceptance and friendship and the only silver lining in this is that one person, tried to help. May Sean know some peace and may Steven rest in peace

Reply Posted by Noname on Wednesday April 10 2013 at 16:28
I totally agree with you Anna. If my son/daughter had attended such party and sat there whilst a vulnerable person was ridiculed never mind set on fire I would be devastated and I would question how I have raised them. The people who sat and let this cruelty happen are from a different mind set, and I think it's scary to think that so many people were there and didn't do a thing. What kind of people are we living amongst???

Reply Posted by Kate on Wednesday April 10 2013 at 16:52
I hope the 30 are ashamed and mark my words Karma will get you. Leaving a young lad to burn to death??? So wrong - what happened to people in Barnsley since I left?? They used to be good and looked after each other. I am so disgusted they should burn in hell like they let this young MSN burn. His poor family and my heart goes out to the neighbour. Cudworth get behind the victims not the idiots who caused this. As Jeremy Kyle says 'grow a pair'!!!!!!

Reply Posted by Jame on Wednesday April 10 2013 at 17:15
kate, Get behind the victims and not the idiots? they are not idiots they are murderers, they might not all have actually set the fire however they let that poor lad burn, if it was a prank that went wrong then they may not have meant him to die, however they meant him to burn and suffer for their own amusement, pure evil, i dont know who these people are that kit refer to however i live in cudworth and i can tell you i dont know a single person thats on the wrong side, dont say 'cudworth' get behind the victims, its a large village and one or two of the families might not like it being mentioned or brought up it doesnt mean anyone is on their 'side'!! the families are defending their own as most people would, i hope if you have children kate they never end up breaking the law in any way and leave you in a difficult position, also hope nothing happens in your village that people tar you with the same brush as the 'idiots'

Reply Posted by noname on Wednesday April 10 2013 at 17:30
Jame. Why attack Kate? I'm from Cudworth and I didn't take offence to what she said. And as for 'families are defending their own as most people would...' then I have to disagree with you. I'd always love my kids even if they did wrong, but no way would I defend an action such as this...and this does look bad for Cudworth, it wasn't just one or two at the party, it says there were about 30, that's a lot of families there!

Reply Posted by Jame on Wednesday April 10 2013 at 20:41
So that means im wrong coz i took offence? No, you might not have but i did and im entitled to my opinion, they are defending their own as in they dont want it discussed as i would imagine they are ashamed and dont want it brought up every day, i didnt say they dont think their child did it or they think it was ok, the families have never said this so how have they done wrong, they are suffering too but it happened and they have to live with it same as this poor lads family, also the original comment that nobody was allowed to discuss it was about the 'accused' although not just the accused but the guilty party, his family, not 30 odd families at all, by defending their own they wont just sit back and listen to people slating them, thats understandable and neither would you, if it was your child im sure you would say they did a terrible thing that resulted in a poor innocent boy losing his life and he will now serve his time as a punishment, his family shouldnt have to be punished for the rest of their lives too, i take offence to kate telling 'people from cudworth' to grow a pair, grow up you havent got a clue, one person posted something and kate slags off the whole of the village, dont think so!! RIP young man xx

Reply Posted by Tim on Wednesday April 10 2013 at 21:27
I heard the murderer as a family member who is gay but yet he bullied a lad for being gay?? I know kids with autism and they wouldn't hurt anyone they just want to be accepted and treat with respect like we all do? How can anyone hurt a person for being gay or having disabilities it makes me sick to my stomach. My OPINION is that they was taking the piss out of the poor lad and wanted to hurt him really badly because we all know if something is flammable or not isn't it printed on the god damn bottle?? And why get a flame to him if they didn't know if it was flammable??? They must have known he was going to be set on fire!! Why did no one help him out of the 30 people. He should have got allot longer and the 30 there should also be punished because they committed a crime too they let it happen and witnessed it all but did nothing but run. Lets hope he doesn't drop his soap eh!!!

Reply Posted by scott m on Wednesday April 10 2013 at 23:58
I know is too late now but for future reference should you be caught oh fire by a flammable substance in your house like oil ect, you should head straight for the cupboard and get the flour out and pour the lot on it or any safe dry powder substitute. You need to snuff out the oxygen the fire burns with and the powder will soak up and choke the stubstance. This is a very sad story and remember it well last year, respect to Sean for his bravery and hope you get better soon, couldnt imagine what your going through.

Reply Posted by jame on Thursday April 11 2013 at 00:22
Thank you for that Scott, I did not know that and hopefully will never need to but I would probably have gone for the water too, if anyone wants to see if anything is flammable in future then try it in a safe place on yourself, absolute scum and this young lad celebrating his birthday with people he thought were his friends, life for a life and yes the others should be severely punished too, Sean wouldn't have been arrested if the bullies had come forward, they thought they'd get away with it. Well done Sean, sometimes our best is never going to be enough, there was nothing u could have done.

Reply Posted by poppy on Thursday April 11 2013 at 09:02
were not talking about little kiddies here, were talking about 30 youths all in their late teens, ok a prank to cover someone with tanning oil, but for crying out loud whether you know it's inflammable or not, what was the reason to go ahead and light it !!........... obviously to cause the lad some harm, he who took it apon himself and use that lighter has only on intension and that was to try and cause the poor victum harm !!........... he was vunerable and obviously due to his illness, the laughing stock of the party, it's horrific............and the punishment is not enough, he'll be out in a few years, this family has been left without their son for life !!!!............. so tragic, and well done to Sean, your a very brave man !!!!

Reply Posted by pete on Friday April 12 2013 at 16:45
it makes no difference if their families are trying to look after thier own what they did was wronge by action or proxi they are cowerds scum and need to be named and shamed they did not directly kill that boy it is true but they flead the scean of a crime failed to report it failed to help in any way shape or form and if my son was responcible for any thing like that i would drag him in to the police station my self and leave him there there is limmits and those who ran away are worthless its sick that they did such a thing and to be honist i totaly and strongly feel that they need to be punished in some way to bring some form of justice to the young lads family they want to be charged with no consideration to age

Reply Posted by kit on Sunday April 14 2013 at 09:27
Yes, its true that some people have had a backlash from stating their own opinions in the murder. We have a right to say what we think. We are walking about the streets of Cudworth, as are our children and are brushing shoulders everyday with these instigators of abuse and crime. They wont learn any lessons from this because they have got away with it, even the man (because he is a man, not a boy like is family claim) who is serving a pitiful sentence. I can understand that the families wish to protect and honour the man but to defend him is like saying he did right to do what he did or saying they have forgiven him. Well, i would not be defending my children if they commited such crimes and as far a threatening ppl who have their own opinions i say that they have slated ppl themselves in the past for far less horrific wrong doings. Hypocrisy at its best!! And as for sending out the wrong message with these lenient sentences, things will never improve on these streets. We are destined to a future of crime and violence with no consequences.

Reply Posted by Kate on Sunday April 14 2013 at 09:44
I still stand by my comment despite one person attacking me. Idiots - ok I should have put murdering idiots. Hmmmm you know nothing of me or my life hunny so do not judge me.I still believe 30 murdering idiots who live in Cudworth who no doubt a hell of a lot of people are related to or connected to by friendship should not make threats of violence or bullying to people who are genuinely disgusted. The family of the accused/guilty may not have directly caused this but they are responsible for the nurturing and bringing up of them and they have chosen to defend their actions by bullying and harassing ordinary decent folk. Well done young man for doing the one decent thing that awful night. You are amazing and I really hope you get the care and support you need to help you through this terrible time. These mindless murdering idiots have affected a lot of people and I really do hope thst in their shallow little lives they suffer unbelievably.

Reply Posted by p on Sunday April 14 2013 at 10:52
The scum that did this are murdering idiots, why would it enter any ones head to do this. I understand drink and drugs can make people do stuff they wouldn't normally do, however that is no excuse. The people that did this should be reminded every minute of there lives what a stupid and evil act they did.
Liberals who say they should be forgiven need to look in the mirror and say that if it was their son or daughter. I am a parent and would not no how to deal with this situation. The people that did this are no HUMANE but ANIMALS.

Reply Posted by Julie on Sunday April 14 2013 at 15:00
I'm not from cudworth but would luuuurve to see the family's of the murdering scumbags attack me for voicing MY opinion!!!!! I totally agree and in MY opinion they all new what they were doing and just being plain cruel bully's,. It takes one, just one of these 30 to grow a pair, and maybe a conscience and go tell the police the truth so criminal charges can be made where necessary! Rest in piece...Sean well done, hope life gets easier for you :-(

Reply Posted by Julie on Sunday April 14 2013 at 15:02
Damn iphone! just for the clever ones im on predictive i know how to use peace/piece Rest in peace! God bless