Cruel Facebook trolls target murder widow

editorial image
0
Have your say

The grieving widow of a dad who was murdered with a broken bottle has told how Facebook trolls and his killer’s appeal have caused her to hit “rock bottom”.

Jane Sherriff, from Scorton near Lancaster, launched the Bottle Stop campaign after her husband Philip, 37, was slashed across the throat in front of hundreds of revellers at a party in London.

Ashley Charles, 26, was jailed for 14 years in November last year after the horrific attack.

Philip’s loving wife Jane launched a campaign to ban glass bottles from late-night city centre bars in the wake of her husband’s death.

But she has been forced to take a step back since Charles announced he would be appealing the sentence.

Throughout his trial he denied the murder, claiming he had only lashed out with the bottle because he feared Mr Sherriff was going to attack him. Facebook trolls posting ‘negative’ comments also threatened to undermine her efforts.

Jane said: “I do want the law to change, I just don’t think I’m strong enough to do it.”

The campaign attracted massive support on social networking site Facebook, and a petition set up online attracted the 100,000 signatures necessary to trigger a debate in Parliament. But Jane was dealt another blow when a planned second reading in Parliament failed to get through.

She said: “When the appeal was announced, that’s when I hit rock bottom.

“I was also getting a bit of negative feedback from Ashley Charles’s friends.

“There are other ways in but I am not sure whether I am going to leave Bottle Stop now.

“It got to the point where I couldn’t log on Facebook. I couldn’t look at the stuff.

“The attention was too much.

“It was pulling me in a place I didn’t want to be.

“Although it was very cathartic at one time, now I just can’t do it. Every time I talk to someone new about it I have to go through it all again.

“My children are doing really well, and that is what matters ultimately.”

Charles was caught on CCTV striking Mr Sherriff, severing his carotid artery and jugular vein and causing massive blood loss.

Partygoers desperately tried to save the married dad-of-two by using clingfilm to stem the bleeding, but he died in hospital four days later.

Jane said telling her children about the appeal was a heartbreaking moment, and she has been unable to bounce back.

She said: “(The appeal) was horrific. It was like going back to the beginning.

“I don’t want to leave Bottle Stop. I have always got a lot of followers there.

“I wouldn’t like to just leave it. But if that’s the best thing for everyone, then I will.”