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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Facebook attack on Cumbria beach-tragedy teen

A teenager found dead on a Cumbrian beach had received abusive Facebook messages from a friend before his death.

Callum Moody-Chapman photo
Callum Moody-Chapman

Seventeen-year-old Callum Moody-Chapman was found on the beach between Maryport and Allonby last December after going missing while visiting relatives in Maryport.

A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has now admitted assault and an offence under the Malicious Communication Act. He was given an eight-month referral order after appearing at Skegness Magistrates’ Court.

Callum, from Holton-le-Clay, near Grimsby, was found on December 15 near Maryport Golf Club after a search by police.

A spokeswoman for Lincolnshire Police said the tragic case highlighted that those using social media and other online platforms to abuse others would be brought to justice.

Callum’s mother and father, Nicola Moody and Kevin Chapman, paid tribute to the teenager, who was a keen BMX rider and skateboarder.

In a joint statement following the court case, his parents said: “Callum was a lovely young man, friendly and loving. His death has devastated his family and friends and we continue to try to come to terms with what has happened.

“The defendant in this case was a friend of Callum’s.

“He has now been dealt with by the court and, while we can now try to draw a line under this case, it does not make our grieving for the loss of Callum any easier. We would like to thank those people who have provided us with help and support during this very difficult and traumatic period.”

A spokesman for Louth CID said it had been “a very traumatic time” for Callum’s friends and family.

“I cannot mention any details of the case due to the age of the defendant,” he said. “This case did involve the use of social media sites to send abusive messages, and I can only urge anyone who knew Callum or the defendant to avoid the use of these sites to send messages.”

A friend of Callum said it was important people were aware of the impact “sending the wrong kind of messages can have.”

“This will bring it all back for the family and Callum’s friends,” he said. “We are thinking of them all.”

An inquest into Callum’s death is due to take place in Cumbria on May 23.

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