Spain sentences man who drove teen to suicide via WhatsApp to ten years in prison

A Spanish court on Tuesday sentenced a man to ten years behind bars for driving a teenager to commit suicide by bombarding him with hundreds of intimidating WhatsApp messages.

spain WhatsApp suicide
(Photo by AFP)

The incident occurred in December 2016 when the 60-year-old defendant started bombarding the teenager with messages, the Valencia region’s top court said in a statement.

“The defendant made contact with the victim, who was 17 at the time, on December 1st 2016, through WhatsApp and sent him more than 119 intimidating and threatening messages within the space of three hours,” it said.

It was not the first time they had been in contact, with the messages referring to an earlier exchange between the pair.

“The teenager repeatedly apologised and told him that he was a minor, warning that if he continued, he would kill himself,” it said.

According to a copy of the sentence seen by AFP, the defendant was “fully aware of the anguish and distress” he was causing the youngster and of the “high likelihood of his death by suicide”.

But he continued sending the messages even after the teenager threw himself from an upper floor into the inner courtyard of his home and died in the act.

The initial messages were sexual in nature and alluded to an earlier exchange between the pair.

They quickly took on an aggressive tone and even included a threat to “make public” their earlier exchange, with the defendant saying he would take legal action against him for accessing an adult website as a minor.

“I’m going to ruin your parents because you went onto an adult website,” he wrote.

The sentence, which can be appealed, also includes compensation of €173,000 ($171,000) for moral damages that must be paid to the teenager’s parents and brother.

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Spanish court approves extradition of UK murder suspect

A court in Spain has approved the extradition of one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, sought for his suspected role in the murder of a teenager in 2015.

Spanish court approves extradition of UK murder suspect

The decision will now go before the country’s cabinet for approval.

Spanish police arrested David Ungi in May in the town of Coin near the southern resort of Marbella on May 5th as he signed up at a gym at a shopping centre.

British police believe Ungi, 30, was involved in the fatal shooting in 2015 in Liverpool of 18-year-old Vinny Waddington.

Ungi, who left Britain less than 24 hours after Waddington was killed, is also wanted by the British authorities for alleged heroin trafficking.

Spanish police carried out the operation to arrest Ungi in cooperation with Britain’s National Crime Agency, which had put Ungi on its most-wanted list.

The Spanish coast has long been a popular bolthole for British criminals fleeing the law, because they can blend easily into the thriving expatriate communities.

There are about 290,000 British nationals officially registered as living in Spain, making them the fourth-largest foreign population in the country, according to national statistics institute INE.