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Tragic Ronan Hughes' case referred to Police Ombudsman

By Lesley Houston

Published 19/06/2015

Victim: Ronan Hughes
Victim: Ronan Hughes

The PSNI has referred its handling of the case of a teenager who took his own life after an online gang blackmailed him over intimate images, to the Police Ombudsman.

The family of Co Tyrone schoolboy Ronan Hughes had been critical of what they described as police "inaction" after the 17-year-old revealed how he had fallen victim to the scam. Gerard and Teresa Hughes said a Nigerian gang demanded more than £3,000 from their son and sent images of him to his friends on social media.

The Hughes family met with police yesterday. Afterwards, Sinn Fein MP Francie Malloy, who accompanied the couple with Stormont Minister Michelle O'Neill, said he believed they had been "reassured" that efforts were being taken to prevent further similar tragedies. Ms O'Neill said there were lessons to be learned on how the case had been handled.

"Coming from such a tragic event there now appears be a step change in how such cases will be dealt with," she said.

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