Name: Steven Simpson
Died: June 23, 2012
Age at death: 18
Cause of death: Murder (Burned)
Location: Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England, UK
Steven was a "caring young man with a generous spirit". He was openly gay, sociable, with a large circle of friends. In addition to Asperger syndrome, he also had epilepsy and a speech impediment.
On his 18th birthday, Steven threw a party, where he was subjected to severe bullying which culminated in murder. A group of men crashed the party, coerced Steven into taking off his clothes, subjected him to homophobic abuse, sprayed him with tanning oil and set the oil on fire. Initially, his murderer tried to claim that Steven had set himself on fire, but his lie failed: Steven was still alive and conscious.
Steven sustained burns over 60% of his body and was taken to the hospital. Before he died a day later, he was able to speak to his father and explain what had really happened.
Steven's killer was sentenced to only three and a half years. The killing has been described as "a cruel case of bullying based on Steven’s sexuality and disability."
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