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 »

Canada on alert as U.S. announces end to temporary resident status for Haitians video
A decision by the Trump administration to end a temporary residency permit program that has allowed almost 60,000 Haitians to live and work in the United States has the Canadian
CBC IN ZIMBABWE Army is the new hero in town, though not everyone is buying it video
In Zimbabwe, the army is the new hero in town, seen as a saviour delivering Zimbabweans from the tyranny of decades of despotic rule by Robert Mugabe. Not everyone is buying in.
Rohingya subjected to 'dehumanizing apartheid': Amnesty International
Myanmar has subjected Rohingya Muslims to long-term discrimination and persecution that amounts to "dehumanizing apartheid," Amnesty International said Tuesday in a report that raises questions about what those who have fled a violent military crackdown would face if they returned home.
more »

Canada »

Winter 2018 will be colder than last year, but forecasters split on how bad it will get
Canadian weather forecasters are split over what kind of winter we can expect in 2018 - and how much of a role global warming has to play.
GO PUBLIC Bell insider reveals high-pressure sales tactics required on every single call
A longtime Bell call centre employee says she is pressured to make a sale on every call, often talking customers into products they don't understand, don't need, and sometimes can't afford
Former navy lieutenant 'very relieved' LGBT apology is coming
Frank Létourneau was forced out of the navy because he is gay. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted Sunday that he would formally apologize on Nov. 28.
more »

Politics »

Australian official lashes out at Trudeau amid spat over Pacific trade deal video
A spat between Canada and Australia is heating up as Australian officials signal they will block Canada's admission to Asia's premier security forum, the East Asia Summit, amid tensions over the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
15,000 on Canada's deportation list, but some 'unco-operative' countries won't take their citizens back
More than 15,000 foreign nationals are subject to removal orders from Canada, but some of them can't be deported because their home countries won't take them back.
Canada on alert as U.S. announces end to temporary resident status for Haitians video
A decision by the Trump administration to end a temporary residency permit program that has allowed almost 60,000 Haitians to live and work in the United States has the Canadian
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»

Michael Redhill, Bellevue Square author, wins Giller Book Prize audio
Michael Redhill has won the Giller Prize, Canada's richest literary award, for his novel Bellevue Square.
CBS suspends Charlie Rose, PBS halts show amid sexual misconduct allegations
PBS says it is immediately halting distribution of Charlie Rose's interview program and CBS News suspended him following the Washington Post's report of eight women who accused the veteran newsman of multiple unwanted sexual advances and inappropriate behaviour.
Della Reese, singer and Touched by an Angel actress, dead at 86
Della Reese, the actress and gospel-influenced singer who in middle age found her greatest fame as Tess, the wise angel in the long-running television drama Touched by an Angel, has died at age 86.
more »

Technology & Science »

Streaks on Mars likely flowing sand, not water, new research suggests
​A new study suggests that dark streaks on Mars are signs of flowing sand — not water.
Astronomers unveil secrets of interstellar visitor
Astronomers say they've learned more about the first known object to enter our solar system from deep space, including its size and colour.
20 Canadian ideas to improve child health win support from Grand Challenges
Twenty Canadian projects have won Grand Challenges funding, among them an Uber-like connection that can help get pregnant women in Kenya to health care; a 3D printer project to provide orthotic devices for Nepali children with clubfoot and scoliosis; and a microchip that can figure out what pathogen is causing diarrhea in children in Bangladesh.
more »

Money »

Loblaws pitches upgraded loyalty program for $9.99 a month for premium perks
Loblaws is launching a fee-based subscription program targeting its existing loyalty program members that sweetens the pot for them in terms of rewards — in exchange for a fee.
Nebraska OKs 'alternative route' for Keystone XL pipeline video
TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone XL pipeline won approval Monday from regulators in Nebraska, but state regulators did not OK the company's preferred route.
Bell Media confirms local radio and TV layoffs
Bell Media is laying off employees, including prominent on-air personalities, at radio and TV stations across Canada.
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]
Recap Johnny Hockey extends points streak to 10 in Flames' win over Capitals video
Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and an assist to extend his career-best point streak to 10 games and the Calgary Flames beat the Washington Capitals 4-1 on Monday night.
Video 'He Broke his Neck in Two Places!' | Rob's Dream Job, Ep.3 video
Rob has returned to real life after jet-setting to Helsinki last week. Now he's in the edit suite, getting down to business, and letting you know who may be the best healer heading to the Olympics.
Recap Wily Coyotes stymie Matthews, Leafs to snap Toronto's win streak at 6 video
Antti Raanta made 26 saves as the Arizona Coyotes halted the Toronto Maple Leafs' win streak at six games with a 4-1 victory on Monday.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »