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. Andy -

    On the flip side, here in the US we have the public increasingly calling for life sentences for almost every serious crime. We've even had people call for life or the death penalty in cases of hit and run, where the driver wasn't guilty of criminal negligence in the collision itself just because of the politics and demographics of the incident.

    We have a prison culture that is rotting our outside culture. There has to be another way than what we are currently doing.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Mar 23, 2013 10:39:02 PM

  2. i feel so much sadness that people would do this. why are young people so cruel?i went thru severe bulling and it still hurts.i like to think he is in heaven at peace.

    Posted by: stephen | Mar 23, 2013 10:42:50 PM

  3. Manslaughter? He made a conscious decision to torture a gay man to death. That's capital murder and he should be sitting in prison until he dies.

    Posted by: Jake Orlando | Mar 23, 2013 10:46:24 PM

  4. this piece of crap commits murder and all he gets is three years? i think that HE needs to be doused with kerosene and have a lit match set to him, maybe then the scales will be balanced. to the young man whose only "crime" as to be autistic, i hope he rests in peace and i hope his family can hold on to all the good times they had with him to help them through this horrible time.

    Posted by: Michael Stanton | Mar 23, 2013 11:27:57 PM

  5. Justice? Britain has lost its standing as a Nation buildt on historical rights and a "judicial" system based on precedent...this is a travesty of justice. Had this been a straight person at a party that was emoliated in this way the sentence would have been more in line with the crime. This young man KILLED a peer...regardless of his sexuality, or even his disabilities...this is a human being that was murdered by a peer..that peer isn't safe for society if he is willing to set a peer on fire for his amusement or to punish him for being "different". god forgive the British judicial system and this judge for being less than human in its judgements...god will judge them for being this way....woe to them in the hereafter...the lake of fire waits for you as well..

    Posted by: Brian | Mar 24, 2013 12:11:21 AM

  6. So the idiot didn't intend to do harm by pouring oil on someone and lighting it? If the victim dies isn't it murder? And what happened to charging the SOB with a hate crime?

    Why let him off so easy?

    Posted by: pardon me, but . . . . | Mar 24, 2013 1:31:55 AM

  7. This is a horrible and tragic story BUT if you're going to take the Daily Mail as an accurate source of information then you're not going to get far in life. Clearly there was more to this case than can be surmised in a few brief paragraphs.

    Posted by: Cburg | Mar 24, 2013 8:53:51 AM

  8. To all the outraged Americans complaining about British and European justice systems... just know that we think "three strikes and you're out" and the death penalty are equally abhorrent. And... you really do like locking up black men for the slightest thing don't you. So take a look at your own backyard before you start accusing others. Oh, and your attitude to guns and healthcare is utterly insane.

    Posted by: Betty Treacle | Mar 24, 2013 9:28:50 AM

  9. Only 3 years for LIGHTING SOMEONE ON FIRE?!

    Posted by: Ryan | Mar 24, 2013 9:46:41 AM

  10. This is appalling and a disgrace to any justiciary system in the world. However,I doubt that we Europeans need to take criticism from a country that sentences minors and mentally challenged people to death, puts people in jail for sex work and drinking, and wants to end gun violence with more guns.

    Posted by: Lee | Mar 24, 2013 9:54:25 AM

  11. England is white trash heaven. I don't use that phrase 'white trash' lightly, either. England is a phuked up place, I know. Spend any time there and you'd get the impression the majority of people are alcoholics. Antisocial random street assaults are commonplace pretty much everywhere, especially weekends. Bars can now legally stay open 24 hours a day. And the legal system and police are a joke. The thugs and criminals of course know this. The finally irony is the place is a veritable police state with cameras EVERYWHERE.

    It's not an exaggeration to say the country has morphed into a real life version of a clockwork orange.

    Why the F would your 'friends' at a birthday party encourage some random party crasher guy to set you on fire? I don't care how drunk or effed up you are.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 24, 2013 10:00:16 AM

  12. A lousy 3 years in jail for THIS???? And what do they mean by manslaughter? This is clearly premeditated MURDER.

    Posted by: rayyblon | Mar 24, 2013 10:16:58 AM

  13. @Lee,

    Are you high or something? The U.S. supreme court outlawed completely the practice a few states had of allowing the death penalty for minors [this only when the crime they committed was particularly hellacious] in 2005. NO MINOR CAN BE SENTENCED TO DEATH IN THE U.S.


    Sent to jail or prison for 'sex work'? Are you referring to prostitution? Yes, in most [not all] places in the U.S., prostitution is illegal, a criminal offense. But such laws vary state by state, they are not federal laws.

    For drinking [alcohol presumably]? Alcohol laws vary state to state, municipality to municipality, in the U.S. It is not illegal for someone of the legal age to drink alcohol in the U.S., anywhere. It is illegal generally speaking to be drunk and disorderly in public, and is generally illegal to be drinking alcohol in public [in the street, sidewalk, bus, subway, park, etc.,] generally everywhere in the U.S., but of course it happens. In many situations, especially special events like Madi Gras in New Orleans, police look the other way. It of course is illegal to drink alcohol while driving everywhere in the U.S. , and to be legally drunk while driving.


    Many Europeans have a real bug up their arse about the death penalty in the U.S. [of which most are quite ignorant about how it works]. This is for many simply a way of criticizing the America and Americans, which is a popular past-time among many Brits and Europeans, especially leftwing oriented. The death penalty for murder varies state by state. Many states do not have it. My state hasn't executed anyone for murder since the late 1940s, long before Britain outlawed the practice. We have two sets of laws in the U.S.: federal and state. The state prosecutes state law violations, the federal government [central U.S. government] prosecutes federal laws. The federal government does have the death penalty for murder if the prosecutor wishes to push for it. So it is possible to receive the death penalty in a state without the death penalty if you're convicted in a federal court. And people sentenced to death can endlessly appeal their sentence. It often goes on for DECADES.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 24, 2013 10:17:39 AM

  14. While the sentence is too short....In jail, he'll be turned out quickly....

    Posted by: Alan Brickman | Mar 24, 2013 10:20:22 AM

  15. Betty Treacle - You are an ass. But worse, you are ignorant of your own country. Check the crime stats and demographics for London my dear. Are you "locking up black men for the slightest thing"?

    Posted by: David Hearne | Mar 24, 2013 11:03:47 AM

  16. Alan Brickman - What a simpleminded thing to say.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Mar 24, 2013 11:05:19 AM

  17. We are barbarians. This world is a mess.

    Posted by: VINCE | Mar 24, 2013 11:06:50 AM

  18. @Betty Treacle, pointing out the flaws in the US justice system (of which there are many) doesn't change the fact that getting 3 years for killing someone by setting them on FIRE and then running away instead of helping is a travesty.

    And he's not even really getting 3.5 years but 21 months since he's getting credit for time served while waiting for the trial!

    Posted by: Caliban | Mar 24, 2013 11:18:07 AM

  19. What is wrong with this board today?

    Posted by: David Hearne | Mar 24, 2013 11:25:42 AM

  20. THAT IS OUTRAGEOUS - why didn't he get life???? I am so upset to read this.

    Posted by: michael | Mar 24, 2013 11:30:15 AM

  21. Isn't it England that has zero tolerance for hate speech? So anyone overheard saying something not politically correct gets in trouble?

    Isn't it strange that someone 1) calls the victim names (hate speech) 2) sets him on fire (assault with intent to harm) 3) the victim dies (charge changes to murder from assault) 4) motivated by hatred of a class the victim belongs to (hate crime).

    I don't understand why anti-hate groups, the victim's family, and anyone with a conscience isn't calling foul. Something went wrong in the trial.

    Posted by: pardon me, but . . . . | Mar 24, 2013 12:37:17 PM

  22. 3 Years for Murder. Unbelievable!

    Posted by: Don B | Mar 24, 2013 12:56:17 PM

  23. I hope then inmates in prison enjoy Mr. Sheard.

    Posted by: darkmoonman | Mar 24, 2013 2:16:19 PM

  24. I hope he rots in hell after a prison shanking.

    Posted by: fanboi | Mar 24, 2013 3:47:38 PM

  25. "That in my judgment is serious aggravation.”

    gee ya think? way to bring down the hammer, judge

    Posted by: gomez | Mar 24, 2013 5:48:34 PM

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