Internet bullying may have driven boy to suicide

A 13-year-old boy is thought to have committed suicide following an internet bullying campaign on social networking site Bebo.

Sam Leeson received a number of abusive postings on his Bebo page regarding his love for 'Emo' - a genre of music described as 'punk with emotion' that has been made popular by bands including My Chemical Romance. He hung himself at his home in Tredworth, near Gloucester, last week.

His sister Emma said: "We saw him as always happy and smiling, but we now think there has been some name-calling about the whole emo thing. We know some bullying has been going on, and we are disgusted and angry about it."

Leeson's mother Sally Cope called for social networking sites to be more heavily vetted for abusive comments.

She said: "I am not sure what influence these sites have but if they are a method of expressing things maybe they should be checked more."

A spokesman for Bebo said: "Bebo continues to actively work with mental health and social care organizations, including the Samaritans, to provide support and advice for its members."

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Carrie-Ann Skinner

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