Gay Asperger's teen died after being set on fire at his 18th birthday party


An 18-year-old boy died after being set on fire at his own birthday party.

Steven Simpson was doused in tanning oil and set alight by Jordan Sheard, who, according to the Mail had 'gatecrashed' the 18th birthday celebrations.
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Steven suffered 60 per cent burns during the attack, and died a day later from his injuries.

The openly-gay teenager was also found to have homophobic and obscene insults written on his face, forearm and stomach.

Sheard was said to have only vaguely known Mr Simpson when he turned up at his home in Barnsley, Yorkshire, last June along with two of his friends.

The court heard that as Steven – who had Asperger's syndrome, epilepsy and a speech impairment - became increasingly drunk, he was dared by his guests to strip down to his boxer shorts.

Sarah Wright, prosecuting, said the events which then took place were 'described as good-natured fun' but in reality was 'cruel behaviour' to someone who was 'vulnerable and an easy target'.

A reveller took a can of Calypso tanning oil from Mr Simpson's bedroom and guests chanted 'light it, light it' after it was poured over him.

Sheard then held a cigarette lighter to Steven's groin, and the oil ignited, setting the teenager on fire. Sheard then ran away from the scene, and a neighbour, Sean Banner, was said to be the only person who helped the tragic teen as he was engulfed in flames.

Judge Roger Keen told Sheard that his running away from the scene had caused him 'serious aggravation' in setting his prison sentence.

The Mirror reports that he told Sheard that the evening had involved good-natured horseplay' but that putting a flame to a man doused in flammable fluid was 'a highly dangerous act'.

Sheard had initially claimed that Steven had set himself on fire, but eventually admitted the charge of manslaughter and was jailed for three years and six months.

His lawyer Andrew Smith said the incident was a 'criminally stupid prank that went wrong in a bad way' and added that his client had been 'deeply and significantly affected by what he has done and the tragic consequences that ensued from it'.