Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

No charges in chatroom suicide, UK authorities say

by Paul Jay, CBC News Online

British prosecutors said they would not press charges against chatroom users who watched 42-year-old Kevin Whitrick apparently commit suicide in March, the BBC reported Monday.

Whitrick, of Wellington, Shropshire, announced in March he would commit suicide and then broadcast his own death by hanging.

Some users on the chatroom tried to stop the father of two and one called for the police but others reportedly egged him on, according to the Times online.

The Crown Prosecution Service said the comments made on the chatroom did not amount to a criminal offence. As the BBC reports:

A spokesman said in a statement: "This is a tragic case which resulted in the untimely death of Kevin Whitrick. We examined all the evidence passed to us by the police and have concluded that none of the comments made in the chatroom amounted to a criminal offence. As a result, there is insufficient evidence to prosecute any person for any criminal offence arising out of Mr. Whitrick's death."

The incident is chillingly similar to the 2003 suicide of Brandon Vedas, 21, from Phoenix, Arizona, who died of an overdose of alcohol and prescription medication while on a chatroom where some members appeared to be encouraging him, while others tried to make him stop.

The Canadian Safety Council has a section on their website on "the bystander effect," the phenonenon whereby indecision or indifference causes members of a group of people to fail to act where they might have otherwise intervened. Here's the link, including some tips on calling 9-1-1.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments

Jeff

Ottawa

Reality television has desensitized us to human suffering and repackaged it as a viewership choice. We're losing grip on our humanity if we're willing to watch someone to kill himself for our own entertainment.

Posted May 29, 2007 01:56 PM

kasity fults

tullahoma

that is childish to encourage some one to commit such a violent act. How would you feel if it was your son or daughter being encouraged to take their own lives. You don't get the same arousement, now do you? You need to protect and help others; not deteriorate their only hope which is for someone to listen!!

Kasity Fults, 16 yrs old
tullahoma tn

Posted November 19, 2007 12:29 PM

Diane Risa

NORWAY

How can those people.who encouraged him to end his life,sleep at night.

Posted January 26, 2008 10:02 PM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

Sony cyberattack: what is Obama going to do about it? video
The cyberattack against Sony Pictures is a matter of national security and U.S. President Barack Obama and his team are weighing various options to respond, a White House spokesman said Thursday.
Hackers posing as Syrian-Canadians may be tied to ISIS
Hackers suspected of ties to ISIS posed as Syrian-Canadians to try to implant malicious software on a computer of a Syrian citizen media group, an internet watchdog says.
Analysis U.S. torture debate underscores shifting view on personal liberties audio
Torture, police excesses, 'felony creep.' For a country built around personal liberty and the rule of law, some things are surely changing, Neil Macdonald writes.
more »

Canada »

Anti-marijuana ad's dubious claim a scary hit with parents
Health Canada's focus-group testing of anti-marijuana ads found parents reacted most strongly to claims that smoking too many joints can lower IQ in young people. The IQ effect has been challenged by medical researchers, but the department launched a TV and internet campaign asserting the claim anyway.
Hackers posing as Syrian-Canadians may be tied to ISIS
Hackers suspected of ties to ISIS posed as Syrian-Canadians to try to implant malicious software on a computer of a Syrian citizen media group, an internet watchdog says.
Alternatives, foreign-aid charity, faces closure after Revenue Canada audit
The Canada Revenue Agency says it made a "mistake" in granting charitable status to a foreign-aid charity in Montreal more than two decades ago. The group has been told its work in Afghanistan, Guatemala and elsewhere does not follow the rules, and that it may lose the ability to issue charitable receipts to donors.
more »

Politics »

Tax cuts for cross-border online shopping could pay off, report says
The benefits to cutting taxes for consumers who order goods from outside Canada outweigh the cost to government, the Conference Board of Canada argues in a report released last month.
Feds ask whether commissionaire jobs should go to low-income vets
An internal review of Ottawa's contracts with the Corps of Commissionaires, who guard federal buildings across Canada, suggests the well-paid jobs go to vets who are better off, rather than to young vets who need the income more. Officials are re-examining the $200-million program over the next three months.
Col. Daniel Constable, Canada's commander in Iraq, readies for extension
The commander of Joint Task Force Iraq says the Canadian military is remaining "flexible" as it plans to possibly stay in the region more than six months. Col. Daniel Constable says plans are in the works as the military awaits further direction from the federal government.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

Steve Carell's North Korea movie from Guy Delisle novel scrapped after Sony hack video
Fox's New Regency has axed plans for Steve Carell's North Korea-set movie based on a novel by Canadian cartoonist Guy Delisle, after Sony scrapped release of The Interview amid threats.
George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones creator, offers to screen The Interview
The 66-year-old fantasy writer is offering to screen Seth Rogen's comedy at a theatre he owns in Santa Fe, N.M. despite threats from hacker group.
Life after Serial: 5 podcasts to follow while waiting for season 2 video
Serial fans are devouring the season finale of Sarah Koenig's addictive new podcast today. Here are 5 listening suggestions you might enjoy.
more »

Technology & Science »

'Deep learning' computers cast new light on DNA
Researchers at the University of Toronto have developed a new way to read the human genome, which could answer stubborn questions about how flaws in DNA lead to disease.
Hackers posing as Syrian-Canadians may be tied to ISIS
Hackers suspected of ties to ISIS posed as Syrian-Canadians to try to implant malicious software on a computer of a Syrian citizen media group, an internet watchdog says.
CBC News launches new Android app
New features include breaking news 'push' alerts, more local news, weather and video.
more »

Money »

Next wireless spectrum auction to give advantage to new carriers
Industry Canada will set aside 60 per cent of the AWS-3 spectrum to be auctioned next spring for new entrants to the wireless market, Industry Minister James Moore says.
Dow has biggest gain in 3 years, TSX up 132 points
New York stocks shot sharply higher on Thursday, but gains in Toronto were muted after oil turned downwards.
Chevron puts Arctic drilling plans on hold indefinitely
Chevron Canada says it's put its Arctic drilling plan on hold indefinitely, in part due to ‘the level of economic uncertainty in the industry.’
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Best of 2014 Eugenie Bouchard: Canadian athlete of the year
She's got brawn, beauty and the talent to be the next big thing in tennis. Eugenie Bouchard is also our pick for our country's top athlete of 2014.
Preview NHL: 5 things to know for Thursday night
The Leafs go for seven in a row, the Canadiens honour Saku Koivu and the Penguins get Marc-Andre Fleury back. Here's more on what you need to know for Thursday night hockey.
Photos 12 memorable sports moments from 2014
Take a month-by-month look back at 2014 through our gallery highlighting the best of the year in sports.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »