Police investigate 'YouTube bullying' of Atherton train death teenager



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The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , health reporter

A TEENAGER who died after being hit by a train recorded a video of himself saying “I’m sorry”, a court heard.

Adam Smith died on May 24 when he was struck by a train between Hag Fold and Daisy Hill stations at about 1.45pm.

Now police are investigating allegations of harmful comments on video website YouTube and appeared at a hearing at Bolton Coroner’s Court on Friday.

The 19-year-old’s laptop was sent to the police’s high technology unit in London for analysis of more than 70 YouTube videos.

Sgt Lesley Peters, from British Transport Police, said officers had not found any evidence of offensive comments on Mr Smith’s laptop.

Sgt Peters said: “We have thoroughly examined it and there is nothing seriously offensive on that computer.”

In one of the videos, Mr Smith, from Atherton, is seen talking into his computer saying he is sorry, the court heard.

The cyber bullying allegations were made by Mr Smith’s father — who also left a comment on one of the videos after his son’s death.

Sgt Peters added: “The father went on to YouTube and wrote: “Adam Smith is dead. Cyber bullying kills.”

Police say it is possible some comments on the videos had been deleted by YouTube users.

If police want to find the comments, they will need to apply for the information from YouTube in America via the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Coroner Alan Walsh said there may not be enough evidence to reach the CPS threshold for an application.

Mr Walsh said: “From what you have said, you have reached a stage where your inquiries are complete, subject to evidence from YouTube.

“The only missing factor is YouTube, which at present does not appear to disseminate information of a threatening nature.”

Mr Walsh adjourned the hearing until October 3 to allow for further investigation.

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