A mother has spoken out after receiving threatening messages on the night of her 12-year-old daughter’s funeral.
Jay Patterson was distraught when she received anonymous messages just hours after saying goodbye to her young daughter who took her own life on October 1.
The family claim 12-year-old Charley died after she had suffered from bullying – with many of the cruel messages she endured sent via online messaging.
Chronicle Live reports that Mrs Patterson received a threatening message of her own via WhatsApp on the evening of her daughter’s funeral on October 24.
The heartbroken mum says the messages demanded to speak to someone she did not know – and the sender claimed they would "release everything I've got online" if she did not comply.
When she said she did not want to engage in the conversation on the day of her daughter’s funeral, the unknown sender claimed to know who Charley was and threatened to post information about her on a number of websites.
Mrs Patterson said: "At first I thought it was a genuine wrong number, then the tone and the messages became very threatening in nature.
"It's the same sort of problems we had with Charley. She would be getting WhatsApp messages and we would block them but they would come in faster than we could block.
"In my head I was thinking, they've got nothing, there's nothing they could threaten us with. But it's still worrying, and if it makes me feel like that, you can imagine how a child would feel."
The grieving family reported the incident to police, however they were told that since the messages had been sent from an unregistered sim card, there was nothing that could be done to track the sender.
Now Mrs Patterson is campaigning for a change in the law to force all sim cards to be registered when sold.
She said: "In some countries you have to have ID to buy even a sim card, we could have that here. If something is sent from your phone, you would be held responsible.”
She added: It makes me so mad that messages like this are being sent, and there isn't anybody doing anything about it."
The distraught parent has launched a Change.org petition to call for a change in the law – and is highlighting her appeal on social media with the hashtag: #charleylaw
A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “We can confirm we received a report of malicious communications and inquiries were carried out to identify the person responsible.
"All lines of inquiry have been exhausted at this time but if anyone does have information that could help police they are asked to report online at our website quoting log 1125 24/10/20.”
* Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at [email protected]