Bring Me The Horizon frontman Oli Sykes has issued a statement after a man who posed online as him to lure a teenage girl to meet him was jailed for life.
David Russell, who is 20, was convicted of the kidnap and attempted murder of Maricar Benedicto after stabbing her four times in woods near Northampton. He will serve a minimum of 17-and-a-half years in prison after being sentenced yesterday (October 5) at Northampton Crown Court. He had convinced Benedicto to meet him after assuming the identity of the Bring Me The Horizon singer on the internet.
Sykes has described the news as “very unsettling” and has admitted that he has found a number of the false online accounts set up in his name as “very uncomfortable”. He has also urged people to be careful with how they interact online.
He said of the case:
I woke up to the news in LA, and didn’t really believe it at first. It’s very unsettling. I’m aware that people have used my identity for pranks and whatever, which has always been something that’s been uncomfortable for me, but for something like this to happen is terrifying. My heart goes out to Maricar and hope she recovers soon.
Sykes went on to urge people to look up the Carly Ryan Foundation, which was set up in honour of Australian teenager Carly Ryan, who was murdered by a man who used a false identity to seduce her over the internet.
I would also urge anyone using social networking sites about a really great foundation called the Carly Ryan foundation. Carly suffered a fate worse even worse than this case but the story isn’t worlds apart. The foundation was set up to raise awareness and educate people on the risks of meeting people online. Stay safe and be careful.
You can find more information at Carlyryanfoundation.com.