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Teenager To Be Remembered On Birthday

Thursday June 20 2013

Steven Simpson Steven Simpson

AN autistic teenager who died after being set alight at his 18th birthday party is to be commemorated - on the day he would have turned 19.

Barnsley College student Steven Simpson, 18, of Pleasant View, Cudworth, suffered 60 per cent burns when a flame was put to his tanning oil soaked body at his party last June. He died two days later.

Now his mother, Bernadette, is arranging a celebration of her son's life. At the same time, she is awaiting the outcome of a court hearing to decide if the man who admitted Steven's manslaughter will be given a tougher sentence.

Mrs Simpson, 44, has struggled to come to terms with Steven's death and has started volunteering with Age UK to try and distract herself.

"I was having anxiety attacks and have been very down," she said. She has also moved from Cudworth to Carlton.

"Steven was a lovely, gentle person and wouldn't want me to be sad," she said. "But I am dreading the event in a way. We miss him so much."

In March, Sheffield Crown Court heard that Steven - who had Asperger's Syndrome and learning difficulties - was targeted at his 18th birthday party due to his disability and sexuality.

He was egged on to strip off while tanning oil was poured over him and Jordan Sheard, 20, of Darfield Road, Cudworth, put a flame to his genitals.

Sheard was given a three-and-a-half-year jail sentence after admitting manslaughter, but following a campaign by anti-discrimination pressure groups, his sentence was re-examined by the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC. He judged it not tough enough and referred it to the Criminal Appeal Court.

Last Thursday, the appeal court reserved judgement on the case at the end of an hour-long hearing. A decision will be handed down at a date yet to be set.
Steven's memorial event will be at Monk Bretton WMC on June 22.

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Reply Posted by Annoyed on Thursday June 20 2013 at 12:16
3 years???? Where the hell is the justice in that??? FFS our justice system is beyond belief!!! He doesn't deserve to see daylight again!!! What type of animal does that to a human??? I'm absolutely appalled!!!!

Reply Posted by les on Thursday June 20 2013 at 12:17
I was always under the assumption that manslaughter was killing someone without intention

Reply Posted by adrian on Thursday June 20 2013 at 12:30
Les u may be right re manslaughter but do u honestly feel 3 yrs..out in 18 months is a tough enough sentence for Sheard? So if someone close to u was Sheard's victim a 3 yr sentence wud have been fair?..course not u idiot

Reply Posted by AHR on Thursday June 20 2013 at 12:38
Adrian I think the point Les was making was that he should have been charged with Murder because it was premeditated.

Reply Posted by believer of bob on Thursday June 20 2013 at 13:07
three-and-a-half-year jail sentence.... he should get life

Reply Posted by Tony toenail on Friday June 21 2013 at 13:53
He deserve's exactly same as what steven got!!! 3yrs there is no justice done!!!!!

Reply Posted by Kerry Betton on Friday June 21 2013 at 14:00
3.5 years and yet Jeremy Forrest gets 5.5 yrs. I'm not saying what Forrest did was right but still!!!

Reply Posted by Beth Lockwood on Friday June 21 2013 at 14:31
I still cant beleive this has happend i went through high school with steven he was a lovely and always cheerful lad he would always do things for others i beleive that jorden should get alot more for what he has done to steven and his family there is no justice for this at all his family are going to feel sad for a very long time and he gets 3 and half years thats not enough at all!

Reply Posted by adrian on Friday June 21 2013 at 14:40
Hi again sorry les and AH if i misread thst earlier post

Reply Posted by gina on Friday June 21 2013 at 14:43
Should deffo get life sentence never mind 3 n half year!

Reply Posted by maxine farley on Saturday June 22 2013 at 14:38
I feel so terribly sad for Stephen and his family, my thoughts are with them today. We are going to buy some flowers and release some balloons from the town moor in his memory tomorrow. I didn't know Stephen, but if I wish had. He was a credit to his family and I hope that Stephen gets the justice that he so rightly deserves. I will be keeping everything crossed in the hope that the sentence is overturned and extended.