Eight men who were members of a UK pedophile ring have been found dead shortly after being exposed by online vigilantes.
The daughter of Michael Duff – one of the eight men who committed suicide after being shamed on the internet by “pedophile hunters” – says she discovered that her father was a pedophile after seeing a video of her dad on Facebook attempting to meet a minor for sex.
Dailymail.co.uk reports: The 67-year-old was questioned on suspicion of attempting to meet a girl under 16 following grooming and released on bail.
His body was found two days later in July 2015, at his home in Tyne and Wear. His daughter Lesley Henderson only found out her father had allegedly messaged a young girl when a friend warned her about a video circulating on social media.
She told the Victoria Derbyshire programme: ‘My friend said, “look, I don’t really know how to say this to you Lesley, but there’s a video going round on Facebook – it’s your dad”.
‘It was on Facebook and I could already see mutual friends had viewed it, so there was nothing I could do.’
She told her daughter, then 15, ‘your grandad’s a pedophile’ and showed her the video – something she later regretted. Someone she knew then posted footage of him being carried from his house to an ambulance in a body bag on Facebook. Lesley and her daughter did not speak to Michael again after the allegations were made and she says she will never know the truth behind the claims.
She said she never suspected he ‘had another side which might lead him to contact a child’.
His death has left his family with unanswered questions regarding his alleged actions. Lesley told the BBC: ‘This could have been a one-off thing where he’s done something stupid. I know people would say, ‘well the thought was there’, but the reality is he may not have actually committed any crime at all.
‘We don’t know, because as soon as he [took his own life] the case was closed.
‘I don’t know what was on my dad’s computer if anything, and I’m never going to know because somebody deemed to put it all over Facebook rather than letting the police deal with it.’
The case was later referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and officers contacted those who uploaded the video and asked them to remove it as it ‘formed part of a live investigation’.