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Son of murder accused harassed by internet stranger
THE teenage son of a Kidderminster man awaiting trial for murder in America suffered years of internet torture at the hands of an obsessive stranger, who called himself the Crime Doctor.
Daniel Bebb-Jones, 18, watched at Kidderminster Magistrates Court today, as Peter Gordon, 28, of East Lothian, admitted harassment through anonymous emails.
Daniel’s father, Marcus Bebb-Jones, 49, is currently in Colorado, charged with the murder of his wife - Daniel’s mother, Sabrina Bebb-Jones.
Daniel was brought up in Kidderminster by his grandmother, from the age of three and was told his mother had died in a car crash.
Between 2008 and 2011, Daniel received 27 emails with titles including “Your dad is a scumbag”, “Murder accused could face death penalty” and “Marcus beaten to a pulp in jail”. They were sent under names such as George Orwell and the Crime Doctor.
Daniel, who was just 14 when the offences began, also received emails from his father’s address, seemingly admitting to and apologising for his mother’s murder. Gordon admitted hacking into Marcus Bebb-Jones’ email account and writing the messages. Magistrates saw a sample of the emails, some of which used sexually graphic and offensive language.
“I was shocked and upset - I didn’t believe it,” said Daniel in a statement read by Claire Linehan prosecuting. He said he felt he could not get away from the harassment and withdrew from social networking and internet activity.
“He is the scumbag - not my dad,” he added, “He is the one causing all the misery and upset and I hate him for it.”
A statement from Daniel’s grandmother, Pamela Weaver, detailed the emotional and physical stress the harassment had caused her: “How dare he be the judge, jury and executioner,” she said.
Defending, Mike Rainford said Gordon befriended Marcus Bebb-Jones on the internet. “It is quite clear that Mr Gordon looked upon him as some sort of mentor, some sort of father figure and opened up to him over a period of time,” he said, as his client burst into tears.
“It later came to Peter’s attention that there was an investigation under way by US authorities in relation to Marcus Bebb-Jones...according to his mother [Gordon] is obsessed with ‘the truth’ and took it upon himself, quite wrongly, to send emails to Daniel.”
Mr Rainford explained that life traumas had had “a profound effect” on Gordon.
He had watched his father waste away with MS and had suffered seven years of abuse.
He said he took a list of medication for tinnitus, headaches and insomnia and spent most days lying on his back due to his symptoms.
Mr Rainford said: “It’s the most bizarre case I have ever dealt with” but maintained Mr Gordon “did not set out to be malicious or vindictive”.
The case was adjourned for written reports and Gordon was bailed to return to Kidderminster Magistrates Court on May 31 for sentencing.