Autistic teenager Steven Simpson dies from burn injuries after ‘tanning oil prank went wrong’
Six people, including three teenagers, arrested for attempted murder
A student died after being set alight with self-tanning spray at his 18th birthday party.
Steven Simpson, who was autistic, suffered horrific burns at the party held at his flat.
After he ran screaming from his home, neighbours rushed to his aid and doused the flames, but he suffered ‘significant’ burns and died in hospital.
The teenager had recently moved home to escape bullies who had been tormenting him because of his autism.
Locals said a gang of youths at his former address had made his life a misery, calling him names and throwing paint over him.
Detectives from South Yorkshire police have launched a murder inquiry and arrested six people, including three teenagers. They are probing whether the bullying was a factor in his death.
Another theory is that he and his friends had been drinking and messing about with the spray, which is highly flammable, before he suffered the fatal burns.
Last night Mr Simpson’s devastated family paid tribute to the teenager.
They said: ‘Steven had just turned 18 and was just starting out in life. Kevin and Jackie, Steven’s father and stepmother, and Bernadette his mother cannot describe the loss they all feel at this time.
‘Steven was a very caring and lovely young man and will be missed by everyone who knows him.’
Emergency services were called to the party at Mr Simpson’s flat, in Cudworth, near Barnsley, at 2.20am last Saturday.
Neighbour Sean Banner rushed to Mr Simpson’s aid after seeing him screaming in agony on the balcony. He extinguished the flames, burning himself in the process.