Snapchat bullies threatened my teenage son and drove him to take his own life’

A mum believes her teenage son took his own life because he was bullied on Snapchat.

Jack Parker, 15, was found dead in woods near his home in Astley, Wigan, on July 28.

His mum says the schoolboy was the victim of bullies on Snapchat, where he was being tormented and threatened.

One Snapchat message sent to his former girlfriend said: “Your boyfs getting jumped xoxo Let him know ye.”

Jack’s ex girlfriend said he called her, moments before taking his life, and read out a string of messages he had received on Snapchat.

The messages have not been saved because, unless the receiver takes a screenshot, they disappear after being read.

But Jack’s ex girlfriend has told his family that he received threats to come to his house and shoot him in the head.

Before taking his own life, Jack also suggested he was being chased.

He also sent another message, saying: “I don’t really do fighting to be honest. I’m not that sort of person.”

In voice messages he sent to his ex, it is clear he was also in turmoil about the relationship, lockdown and was “stressed” about returning to school in September.

He told the girl in one voice message: “You just don’t understand how s**t I feel.

“But you don’t have to worry because everything’s going to get f***ed up for me soon enough.”

Jack’s mother Karen Robinson, 43, a teaching assistant, told the M.E.N: “I want to get this out there, if it helps another child not getting bullied.

“I don’t want another family to go through this. It’s awful.

“I think he was really struggling with lockdown and not seeing his girlfriend and the amount of homework he was getting.

“I knew he had been a bit down because of his girlfriend. He was saying he couldn’t get his head around his homework. He said he couldn’t do it.”

The mother-of-two added: “Thinking about what he had done to himself, he was being threatened. He was frightened.

“He wasn’t eating properly and he wasn’t sleeping properly. I used to ask him if he was being bullied and he would say ‘am I ‘eck’.

“He would talk to me about his girlfriend, how upset he was and about his struggles with his homework.

“He was very reluctant to go out. He never did. Now I understand if he was being bullied why he never wanted to do it.”

Asked whether she thought bullying caused Jack to take his own life, Karen said: “I think what’s what pushed him. I think the thought of someone coming to the house frightened him to death really.”

Jack, who was 6ft 3in tall, stayed home and played on his XBox and did not have any other hobbies, his mum said.

The schoolboy’s heartbroken mum has launched an online petition to increase the minimum age for Snapchat from 13 to 18.

On the petition Karen writes: “He was a loving, funny, intelligent boy who was also very sensitive.

“So sensitive that he couldn’t tell me about the constant bullying he was receiving by people on Snapchat and other social media.

“Due to the age of the bullies, there is no consequence!”

Greater Manchester Police have said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

Officers are now preparing a report for the coroner.

Bolton Coroners’ Court confirmed an inquest had been opened into the death although a hearing date has not yet been fixed.

A Snapchat spokesperson said: “No-one deserves to be bullied and our hearts go out to Jack’s loved ones.

“We designed Snapchat as a place that prioritises friendship and default settings make it impossible for someone to receive a message from an account they have not added as a friend.

“Any Snapchatter experiencing bullying can easily report it to us right in the app and our safety team will do their best to help.

“We also provide in-app mental health support with a feature called Here For You, where Snapchatters can get expert advice from organisations such as Young Minds, the Samaritans and the Diana Award.”