Crime | News

Man Gets 3 Years Jail in Manslaughter Death of Gay Autistic Teen He Taunted Then Set on Fire


Jordan Sheard, (right), 20, was sentenced this week for the manslaughter death of gay UK teen Steven Simpson (left), whom he doused with tanning oil and lit ablaze after taunting him about his sexuality at the teen's 18th birthday party. Simpson, who was autistic, died from his burns the next day in the hospital.

The Yorkshire Post reports:

Sheffield Crown Court heard that Jordan Sheard, 20, flicked the lighter and Steven went up in flames with Sheard and others running away instead of helping him. The teenager, who suffered from Asperger’s syndrome, a speech impairment and epilepsy, died in hospital from 60 per cent burns the next day.

Judge Roger Keen told him: “What it did was engulf him in a fire. You tried to briefly assist and then you ran away. That in my judgment is serious aggravation.”

The court heard the only person who went to Steven’s aid was neighbour Sean Banner who burned himself in the process. But when Mr Banner returned to the flat in Pleasant View, Cudworth, near Barnsley, he was initially arrested on suspicion of murder. Sarah Wright, prosecuting, said that earlier in the evening Sheard, who vaguely knew Steven, and two others joined the party and were let in despite having not been invited.

Simpson was openly gay and had moved in to the flat because he had been bullied at his other address.

The Daily Mail adds:

The court heard that as Mr Simpson became increasingly drunk at his party, he was dared to strip to his boxer shorts.

Defendant Jordan Sheard, 20, who had gatecrashed the house party, was seen taunting the host, who was openly gay, and then scrawling obscene and homophobic insults on his bare stomach, face and forearm. After 2am, a partygoer took the Calypso tanning oil from Mr Simpson’s bedroom and, as it was poured over him, others chanted: ‘Light it, light it.’

Miss Wright said: ‘Steven did not object; he seemed to be enjoying the situation.’

But the court heard that Sheard then held a cigarette lighter to Mr Simpson’s groin, and instantly the highly flammable liquid caught alight and flames engulfed his body. Instead of putting out the fire, Sheard ran away.

Sheard received three and a half years in prison.

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  1. karma will bite him in the ass then light it on fire.

    Posted by: trev | Mar 23, 2013 4:03:51 PM

  2. How the hell can deliberately setting someone on fire and killing them only be a three year sentence?

    Posted by: Lymis | Mar 23, 2013 4:10:49 PM

  3. Forget bite him in the ass. I think he'll prove to be quite entertaining to every older & stronger inmate. I'm sure he'll be turned out quickly & if he's smart he'll find himself one daddy & be a good boy or he'll be let go. Fair game for everybody. Three & 1/2 yrs for basically committing a murder. I hope he never gets accustomed to being raped.

    Posted by: mikro | Mar 23, 2013 4:15:25 PM

  4. is this justice in the UK? maybe so, but boy it sure doesn't seem so to me. tragic.

    Posted by: tinhouston | Mar 23, 2013 4:18:59 PM

  5. that is absolutely revolting. I can't believe he only got 3 years.

    Posted by: notice | Mar 23, 2013 4:21:25 PM

  6. Again the punishment does not fit the crime, where is the justice. Should have at least locked him away for a much longer time.

    Posted by: RichB in PS | Mar 23, 2013 4:24:55 PM

  7. That's it? Just three and one half years? What the crap is wrong with England that they would allow such horrible murder and then wrap the killer on the knuckles? And what about all those who stood around and did nothing? Sick sick sick.

    Posted by: Mike | Mar 23, 2013 4:25:37 PM

  8. Asperger's, a speech impairment and epilepsy tend to be related. I know because I have them all. This is a horrible story on so many levels.

    Posted by: Paul R | Mar 23, 2013 4:32:19 PM

  9. Human excrement.

    Posted by: KepplerTomsj | Mar 23, 2013 4:43:12 PM

  10. Three and a half years for setting someone on fire?! Jesus. I often think that sentences for drug crimes in the US go way too far, but that sentence is a travesty!

    Posted by: Caliban | Mar 23, 2013 4:44:47 PM

  11. "Miss Wright said: ‘Steven did not object; he seemed to be enjoying the situation.’"

    So in essence he asked to be lit on fire. Shoddy journalism even from the Daily Mail.

    Posted by: Gigi | Mar 23, 2013 4:44:50 PM

  12. If that's manslaughter, what the hell do you have to do to get convicted of murder?

    Posted by: Randy | Mar 23, 2013 4:49:25 PM

  13. " ... others chanted: ‘Light it, light it.'"

    What kind of people were there at the party?

    Posted by: borut | Mar 23, 2013 4:51:12 PM

  14. Three and a half lifetimes seems to me to be more appropriate.

    Posted by: TomTallis | Mar 23, 2013 4:57:33 PM

  15. The article read like a plea bargain. It said he admitted to manslaughter. In the US, I suspect this would be described as "reckless disregard" meaning that he meant to do something stupid, but didn't anticipate the consequences.

    Do you honestly think that he intended to kill the other guy? It's doubtful. Having lived in Ocean City Maryland, I can tell you that stupid crap like this is common, even if the result isn't. More than one apartment house has been set on fire by teenagers playing with alcohol and cigarette lighters.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Mar 23, 2013 5:21:25 PM

  16. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME on all those responsible for giving that MURDERER such a light sentence!!!

    Posted by: andrew | Mar 23, 2013 5:31:20 PM

  17. This sentence is atrocious. But nothing about European justice surprises me. Look at Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 kids in Norway and showed no remorse. He received a 21 year jail sentence. Yes, American justice is not perfect. We need to address excessive sentences for non-violent offenses. But Europe should do the same for violent offenses.

    Posted by: James | Mar 23, 2013 5:33:12 PM

  18. What the hell is going on in the UK? This is what happens with a legal system that favors the criminal over the victim.
    This is a disgrace. In three years this boy better watch his back.

    Posted by: I wont grow up | Mar 23, 2013 5:40:05 PM

  19. why are the people that chanted and did nothing to help put the fire out charged too?

    Posted by: Mydoona | Mar 23, 2013 5:41:06 PM

  20. makes you wonder who Jordan Sheard's parents are ... and how well-connected

    Posted by: unokhan | Mar 23, 2013 5:54:26 PM

  21. Unbelieveable. It seems like justice systems are protecting the guilty and ignoring the victims more and more...

    Posted by: | Mar 23, 2013 8:30:52 PM

  22. Have I misread UK culture or is it pretty universal there that they don't hold people responsible for what they do when they're drunk?

    Posted by: JJ | Mar 23, 2013 8:31:51 PM

  23. All Europeans are weak and feeble in their commitment to justice. They are an effete people with no sense of justice. Disgusting. Europe will last for 2 more generations before the Muslims take over their weak and effete societies. Muslims are a mess and primitive, but the Europeans don't have any balls at all and Europe will be there for the taking.

    Posted by: Dan Cobb | Mar 23, 2013 9:10:05 PM

  24. Maybe they just hate gays and the handicapped in the UK. His town must be like towns in Mississippi.

    Posted by: Jersey | Mar 23, 2013 9:32:26 PM

  25. The justice system in Europe is a joke, and liberal and soft beyond belief. It practically a pep squad for criminals. The criminal gets a tap and the wrist and the victim's family has to live with the pain for years. What a travesty.

    Posted by: Andy | Mar 23, 2013 9:50:32 PM

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