Mum’s bid to beat bullies

Grieving parents  outside the Snowdrop Centre, Central drive, Blackpool offices after Blue Sky Hospitals Fund announced it couldn't provide further funding, leaving it at risk of closure.' Linda Jones.
Grieving parents outside the Snowdrop Centre, Central drive, Blackpool offices after Blue Sky Hospitals Fund announced it couldn't provide further funding, leaving it at risk of closure.' Linda Jones.

The mother of a Blackpool teen who took his own life after visiting internet chat rooms is calling for more international regulation of websites.

It comes after The Gazette highlighted this week how 12-year-old Kierah Gowers, from South Shore, threatened to drink bleach as trolls on social networking site Ask.fm told her to end her life.

Linda Jones is meeting Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard today as part of her campaign for more monitoring of the internet.

Mrs Jones’ son, Matthew, 17, killed himself three years ago after visiting suicide chat rooms online.

He bought a gas canister online and died from asphyxia after inhaling its contents.

Mrs Jones, 60, from Norbreck, said: “We would not put vehicles on the road without sensible things like brakes and lights, and yet we let the internet go world wide without proper policing and monitoring.

“There is quite a lot of work being done to try and make websites be more responsible, but I think it’s obvious this is not going far enough and there are not enough resources 
being put into monitoring these sites.

“We all know there is much more that can be done, but it’s a financial issue.

“We have to, as parents, force the Government to do something.”

Mrs Jones will speak to Mr Maynard today about Latvian-based Ask.fm, which has alledgedly been linked to the death of four teenagers in the UK, including 14-year-old Hannah Smith, from Leicestershire, who was found hanged after reportedly visiting the website.

She said: “This is a real issue. Children like my son and Hannah have gone the whole way and we have lost them.”

In her campaign against internet and school ground bullying, Mrs Jones is calling for more international power to tackle websites.

She added: “We have European courts and secretary of states who go abroad to talk to world leaders, and we are losing a lot of children and young people from all over the world.

“We need an international solution.”

The Gazette reported on Wednesday how Kierah Gowers received messages from cyber bullies telling her to cut herself “ really deep”.

Other messages threatened to kill her, her family and everyone she loved.

Kierah has closed her Ask.fm page down and her mum, Kerry, is now calling for the website to be shut down.

No-one from Ask.fm was available to comment.