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Jeering crowd goads suicidal jumper to his death in England

62 Comments

Jeering onlookers goaded a teenager in Britain to jump to his death, undermining police efforts to talk him down, and then took pictures of the body, the MailOnline reported Wednesday. According to the paper, as 17-year-old Shaun Dykes prepared to jump from the top of a multi-story carpark in Derby, northern England, spectators allegedly shouted to him: "How far can you bounce?"

As Dykes hesitated for three hours on the ledge while police unsuccessfully tried to reason him out of taking his life, teenagers who had gathered below shouted "Jump" and "Get on with it," according to police and witnesses.

Then after Dykes lay in a crumpled heap on the pavement, the same hecklers rushed out from behind the police cordon to take photos of the body.

"When he (Dykes) fell, lots of people were screaming and crying but there were several groups of youths who ran from behind the cordon and looked like they were taking pictures with their mobile phones," a local shopkeeper was quoted as telling the MailOnline.

Dykes was believed to have been suffering from depression and struggling to overcome a relationship breakdown.

Superintendent Andy Hough, of Derbyshire police, told the MailOnline he was disappointed and disturbed by the people heard encouraging Dykes to jump.

"I find it a disturbing and shocking reflection on society when people feel inclined to do that," Hough said. "Negotiators were working with the man threatening to jump and it was their job to talk to him in the hope of changing his mind. We really need the public to work with us, not against us. It was a very disappointing situation."

© Wire reports

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62 Comments
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I canNOT believe some people in the crowd encouraged him! That is just sad!

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were they chavs?

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Perhaps they should follow his example.

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The world's gone mad.

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Sick.

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There's lots that's good about the UK, but the country has far too many of these mindless yobs. The police should have been arresting the twerps for obstructing officers in the course of their duty (trying to persuade the young man to step down.) Now he's dead, charge them with manslaughter. See how many of them think that's funny. Then we can all jeer and take photos as they're led off to jail.

Mindless jerks.

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I'd like to see some of these onlookers charged too, but is there any law they could be charged with. Is goading someone to commit suicide -- vile as it is -- actually against the law?

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Perhaps those teenagers will follow suit one day.

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Now I am ashamed to be Brtish... yep the world is going mad...

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"How far can you bounce?"

I'd like to bounce those jerks.

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I simply cannot believe this. As somebody pointed out earlier, the police should go through any footage they have and charge these yobs with anything and everything that will stick.

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Just disgusting.

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That really should be illegal. The police should have done more to move them on, but what a sad reflection on society when there are people as soulless as that out there.

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Not a nice story by any means, but no surprises in the Mail making fun of it. Any mention of unemployed immigrants in there as well?

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sad sad

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Not to undermine the horrid lack of humanity displayed by the onlookers, but how often does this happy in merry old? I don't regularly follow UK news but this story popped out on several news agencies.

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The police should have been arresting the twerps for obstructing officers in the course of their duty (trying to persuade the young man to step down.)

Definitely agree with you there, Cleo.

As far as charging them with manslaughter, I don't think it's appropriate. Maybe something like abetting in a suicide, if there's a charge like that in the UK.

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...and they should be made to have to face the family, although that one might be filed under "be careful what you wish for." Community service for cleaing up the mess would also be appropriate.

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This is disrurbing. I have suffered from depression for years and between medication and counciling, I am a success story. I can't believe how he must have felt. < :-)

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One of the first things I noticed afer moving to Japan from the UK was the absence of the brain-dead, attitude-laden feral underclass chavs that roam the streets in certain areas. The police should've nabbed these tw^ts... on a trumped up charge if necessary. Nobody would've objected, even if they'd walked into a few doors in the police station. Oh, hang on... I forgot what a sickeningly PC place the UK has become.

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It makes me wonder what can make kids like this so cynical...

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One of the first things I noticed afer moving to Japan from the UK was the absence of the brain-dead, attitude-laden feral underclass chavs that roam the streets in certain areas.

Absolutely the best thing about Japan.

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It makes me wonder what can make kids like this so cynical...: youtube, mtv, faces of death...

If I had been a family member of this guy, I would like to take a few of those punks, take them to the top of a building, hang them over the edge and ask them how it feels, while I am filming them for youtube...

Bad enough the parents of this young guy to have lost their kid through suicide, but to know that people were encouraging him to do so... Should be a law against this as in assisted suicide.

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Maybe something like abetting in a suicide

No, they don't deserve to be ranked alongside family members trying to help a terminally-ill loved one out of their pain. (Whether or not we agree on the rights and wrongs of that).

Wasn't there a case during the miners' strike yonks ago where some yobbos pushed a lump of concrete off a flyover onto a motorway, hitting a car and killing the driver? My memory isn't very sharp on that, but didn't the yobbos get charged with manslaughter on the grounds that it could reasonably be projected that the lump of concrete was very likely to hit a vehicle travelling at speed? Same here, it could be reasonably projected that a person in an unstable frame of mind being jeered and urged to jump by a crowd was more than likely to jump.

Get them for whatever they can be got for, anyway.

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There have been assisted suicide court cases in the UK, although in this case that charge would never make it to the courts. It would have to be a trumped up charge they came up with to arrest these kids: disturbing the peace or some sort of ASBO. Not to say it shouldn't be done - am sure the police were scratching their heads trying to work out if they could get them for anything to calm the situation down.

Easy solution: print their faces on the front pages of every tabloid and local Derby newspapers. State that if any readers see them they should give em a slap. It's not as if there would be a shortage of people willing to help pay any fines that come of it.

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just fiendish.

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Just like an American to be always putting the UK down.

In fact something very similar happened in Seattle in 2001, when a woman was preparing to judge from a bridge which prompted passersby whose commute she had slowed to encourage her. Worse, [o]ne Seattle radio station appeared to poke fun at the woman's predicament, peppering its live broadcast with splashdown sound effects.  

Historians and psychologists drew no conclusions, but pointed to a mainstream culture increasingly inured to violence and crisis.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/36928_jump29.shtml

I heard about a similar incident in China a while back as well. The last word's some distraught soul heard were "Jump!" from a crowd of onlookers who viewed it as entertainment.

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My condolences to both the young man who jumped and his family. An absolute tragedy when members of a society stoop to this level for their entertainment.

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Good example Betzee, while this is sickening, particularly the eagerness to take pictures, by no means is this exclusive to British youth.

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In two places with this. The guy seemed to want attention and got it. The folks who watched it probably a void of any relational feelings due to the crap they see on TV all day.

I don't really see this as any different from the Romans watching people vs. animals and whatnot. Humans are sick. I don't know why we think we are superior to other animals when we watch such crap for sport.

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Doesn't matter where this took place. I think it shows that a lot of people out there have lost the ability to care about other people. Or perhaps have had too much exposure to death and mayhem in media and games and can no longer distinguish between reality and their notions of entertainment.

My guess is those photos are out on the net already with a lot of people checking them. Says a lot about modern connected society and our lack of humanity.

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With his name "Dykes" it is understandable that he can suffer problems from bullying at school. Just listen to Bobby Brown from Frank Zappa, which will give a clue.

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electric2004 case in point. A person has died here. A young person who needed support and help, not jokes about his name or jeering morons with zero empathy encouraging him to jump.

Are people really this desensitized to tragedy? If so maybe human society should melt down for a while to bring human beings back to reality.

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This is a sick society.

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taiko666

One of the first things I noticed afer moving to Japan from the UK was the absence of the brain-dead, attitude-laden feral underclass chavs that roam the streets in certain areas.

It won't last. The Japanese are about to lose the benefits a huge middle class afforded them for so long, as the economy spins back into recession the ranks of the unemployed will shoot up, and the groups of disaffected youth will abound just as in the UK. Japan at this moment is going into recession.

The Japanese government over the past decade in particular has been increasingly driven by the extreme right wing. You can be sure that government funding into social services will accelerate in the coming months and years.

Jeering crowds are going to become common place in Japan, and outsiders will find themselves facing increasingly reactionary actions by both the institutions and those citizens who will readily accept that their troubles can be blamed on the presence of foreigners in Japan.

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Cleo

Your posts are increasingly reactionary. What's up?

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Your posts are increasingly reactionary. What's up?

Hmmm, hadn't noticed that they were....Maybe I just don't like mindless ghouls who get their kicks from a young man's illness and death.

One more link with the old country cut. I can't relate to these yobbos.

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taniwha, very dark predictions.

But I think the declining worker population will somewhat offset the declining employment market. Equally I don't think the current government will last if a recession comes. The LDP have moved far to the right, but they hardly represent anyone other than themselves. The public could not care less or be involved less than they are in the political arena.

More likely it will be the social issues that create more jeering crowds and not the economic situation.

As for blaming foreigners, I think nearly every nation on the planet has this problem with the uniformed masses.

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I think it shows that a lot of people out there have lost the ability to care about other people.

When did we ever have the ability? Humans have been killing and watching others be killed for sport for as long as we've been around.

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The police had three hours to extend the cordon and get the hecklers far away.

I cannot see why an obstruction charge would not stick.

--Cirroc

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What a wonderful world we live in.

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I can't relate to these yobbos.

Yes, difficult alright, unless you happen to be one of them. But I think that's the whole point about being disaffected, in which case you don't relate to society, because it no longer relates to you. This happens when an underclass grows to the extent it exists within the country but outside of society, think the 1800's, Charles Dicken's era, the 1920's Weimer Germany...Japan and the USA and UK 2009, 2010, and onward.

Let's hope not, but if history teaches us anything it is that it repeats itself, that is, if the fundamental political and economic conditions that produced the events we want to forget remain unchanged.

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tkoind2

The LDP have moved far to the right, but they hardly represent anyone other than themselves.

There you have it. The Taniwha message. The ruling elite are in charge and not the people. If the voters actually had a political party to choose that truely represented the public rather than the corporations you'd have a democracy. But just as in the US, Japan is really a plutocracy.

That means that you can expect that when the economy tanks (perhaps not quite to the degree the US or maybe even worse) the government will exact much the same policies on the Japanese population.

However, Japan is not the US nor the UK, and a number of other factors will enter into it. You should keep in mind one thing though, people need food and security, and if they don't have one or the other there is trouble. If they don't have both there is big trouble. The basic needs of human beings will in the end overwhelm whatever cultural niceties exist. The problem of yobbos in Japan as in the UK is just one symptom of social breakdown through a disintegrated economy and a government that does not care enough about the needs of its people.

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tkoind2:

"A person has died here". Yes, but this person did not die by accident, but by his own decision. And from the article I conclude that he decided by pressure from outside, which in this case is equal to bullying. And I was wondering, if part of his suffering can be related to his family name.

It may sound like a joke, but it is more serious. Actually I have a family name, where I was exposed to many "jokes" while I was at primary and junior high school. Also because some teachers had problems with how to read or write correctly. My family name is not that difficult (just 7 letters), but it is not very common and therefore many people don't know how to write it correctly, when hearing it first time. When in my home country, I may even use some of the jokes to explain the correct way of writing.

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/derbyshire/7644670.stm

The BBC either dumbed it down, or the writer of this article sexed it up.

Either way, there's some pretty sick people about...

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Electric 2004, excellent point, names do lead to bullying. But the lyrics to Bobby Brown? Not sure how they apply here unless you mean the surname 'Brown'.

People aren't all bad but it's mob mentality. One person being a tool can sway the entire group into acting the same.

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First of all I sympathize with Shaun Dykes; his last hours of life was a time of humiliation. I certainly don't blame Britain or British society. It was shameful behavior on the part of those taunting him. cow76 said "One person being a tool can sway the entire group into acting the same." I couldn't agree more; it may have been more than one who were the instigators but nonetheless it was stupid and cruel. I think the police should have arrested those who were trying to get Shaun to kill himself. It would not be important for the charges to stick but it would be very useful to remove them from the scene. I still have more respect for the police then I would if they beat the offenders into submission. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones. I hope they don't get caught up in anger and just grieve their loss for the tragedy of his unresolved pain, placing less emphasis on the horrid circumstances. "...Dykes lay in a crumpled heap on the pavement," What a sad image of such a young life.

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Cleo, there are many fine, upstanding young people in the old country. No need to cut your links with the old country. In fact, you should strengthen them in order to make it a better place so such an ugly incident as this will not happen.

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I was in the Metropolitan Polive for 18 years, and these type of "people" became more of a problem as my career progressed.

I feek really sorry for thisd kid, and for the officers trying to assist him. It is very traumatic dealing with cases like this, many suffer from PTSD and othe mental problems.

The kids would have been arrested in London for obstruction. I don't think the law has change sinc ei left. The y would only receive a fine or possible community service.

This is a terrible indictment of British society. How can thsese sick indviduals live with themselves?

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We get a lot of video like this about England on such channels as A&E, Bravo, CourtTV, etc.

Football hooliganism seems to be a cultural thing that's spread beyond England's borders to include my southern hemisphere. I'd love to see these guys take on the Taliban in the mountains of Afghanistan-Pakistan. Film it and put it on cable.

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There must be a way of prosecuting these 'people'?

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Cow76,

"Dyke" can refer to a lesbian in English - and I'm pretty sure in American too? Normaly though, it means a ditch in the UK. Presumae that as the reference to Zappa, not that I particularly like his stuff, but it's true Bobby Brown is kinda funny....

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unfortunately, there are these kinds of idiots everywhere in the world. How they become like that is unclear. The police should have arrested the hecklers for "disturbing the peace". Not sure if they have that in the UK

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As Tmarie said, this people, is not a new phenomenon people indicative of a deteriorating society. Many many years ago when my grandfather was a young man he was part of a crowd that watched a man leap to his death from the observation look out of a tall Church spire. He recalled that people in the crowd too were egging on this chap urging/chanting for him to jump and how he was shocked by it all etc. That story has stuck with me for long time, I think at the time my grandfather was trying to teach a 'moral of the story' type deal i.e people sometimes do crazy things and you should try to help them not cheer them to do it - have compassion. But nonetheless its been happening for eons. In Roman times the crowd cheered on gladiators as they slaughtered each other. Pride, K1 UFC etc are extremely popular as tough blokes smash the beejesus of each other as the crowd soak it up. Cheering crowds in certain countries watch people guilty of almost nothing get stoned to death or hung in public.

If it were just one person, I doubt it would have happened, but the the crowd emboldening each other with the thought of some bloody action, sadly turned into the Romans at the Colosseum. As disgusting as their behaviour was, it doesn't surprise me.

As society as become more civilized you would hope incidents like this would never happen, but....

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We probably should be grateful that the mob of hooligans wasn't cheering on a state-sponsored public execution. Even in tragedy we can count our blessings.

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Tokyo, this was mob-sponsored execution of the most public kind.

What blessings are you counting?

In most public executions in soccer stadius in Muslim governments and Communist China, the individual isn't usually humiliated to death for public entertainment.

Egypt and Communist China march the poor bastard/bastardess out, kill the individual quickly and move on.

I'm sorry again. What "blessings", Tokyo?

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In most public executions in soccer stadius in Muslim governments and Communist China, the individual isn't usually humiliated to death for public entertainment.

No, but the person is certainly humiliated, not to provide the public with an entertaining spectacle but as a warning of what happens, and what shame you bring on yourself and family, if you engage in the type of behavior the person about to be executed was convicted for.

We don't know the extent to which such incidents as this taunting occur elsewhere because state-controlled medias wouldn't be allowed to report it. Now some may say the saturation level of coverage in the UK encourages publicity seeking copy-cat behavior. That may be so, but it's not the reason such incidents are hushed up by dictatorships. Rather it's the government which fears being judging harshly by outsiders for failing to socialize its citizenry in humanitarian norms.

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Betzee, the two governments I mentioned don't hide it.

They want it out to the public.

But we're off track. I think you should spend your time hammerin' human trash who tortured a young man into jumpin' rather than me.

Your values?

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Betzee, the two governments I mentioned don't hide it. They want it out to the public.

In the past that was true. I saw photos posted of a stadium full of onlookers prior to an execution in some Chinese backwater in the mid-1980s. I also encountered a truck load of condemned prisoners on their way to the execution ground. But the Chinese government doesn't do that anymore because they don't want international human rights organizations on their back.

Some of the people who attended may be of the same mindset of those who turned up at the court house when the verdict was due in the Scott Peterson case and cheered loudly as it was read. Though I can't imagine going there myself, I recognize there is a difference between that and taunting a distraught person to jump.

I pasted in a link above to a similar incident in Seattle. As the paper observed, "It could have happened in New York. It could have happened in Tokyo," said Geoffrey Loftus, a UW psychology professor who co-wrote "Places Rated Almanac," which compared cities on different levels.

Basically, it could have happened in any city large enough to have a group of vocal, "extreme" people, he said.

The difference between here and New York City, for example, is the amount of attention given to the crowd's meanness.

"New York is so vast that an incident like that is a little more lost in the noise of everyday events...,"

Looking at it from this angle, it's a positive reflection on the UK that it did receive so much publicity.

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Man's inhumanity to man, and my wife wonders why I'm such a jaded cold fish. I really expect these sorts of things to happen so very little surprises me and nearly nothing upsets me. I wonder if the coppers will try to nail any of these hooligans with a crime. Perhaps assisted suicide or party to murder. Or maybe they'll just go on their merry way and never even consider that they have blood on their hands.

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I seem to remember that either in Vancouver or Seattle, some guy was going to jump of a bridge during the middle of rush hour and the police had to close the bridge. People started yelling from their cars to jump, so that they could go home.

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Look back, this is nothing new.

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