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Gay teen killed after being set on fire during birthday party

By Mason White 4:58 AM March 25, 2013
Steven Simpson 

By: Moses Gold
(Scroll down for video) A man was arrested and charged with murder related charges after setting a gay teen on fire during a birthday party, according to court proceedings in the United Kingdom.

Now, the suspect has been convicted of the murder, according to court proceedings.
Jordan Sheard, 20, has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison for the death of Steven Simpson after pleading guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter. Simpson, 18, died a day after suffering significant burns, according to the report.

Simpson had Asperger syndrome, a speech disorder and epilepsy. The teenager had been dared to strip down to his underwear before being sprayed with tanning oil, after which Sheard set him on fire at the party. Other reports said that anti-gay messages was found scrawled on Simpson’s body.

A number of the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights activists said they believed the prison term was too lenient, but prosecuting attorney Tim Warburton, said that the sentence was within the range of what would be expected for a hate crime and that he would not be appeal.

“This was a brutal case of bullying based on sexuality and disability,” Warburton is quoted as saying. “While we believe he had no intention of killing, his actions led to his death,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sheard’s lawyer said his client had been “deeply and significantly affected by what he has done and the tragic consequences that followed,” describing the death of Simpson as a “stupid prank that went wrong in a bad way,” according to press reports.Mobile video not loading? Click here to view