NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Two youths charged over disabled girl images

Hannah with mum Judith Davis
Image caption Judith Davis said the doctored images of her daughter Hannah left her horrified

Two youths have been charged after a six-year-old disabled girl became the subject of online trolling, BBC Scotland has learned.

Judith Davis, from Pitmedden, said pictures of Hannah, who has Pfeiffer syndrome, were doctored and shared by pupils from Meldrum Academy.

One showed Hannah in her wheelchair on a motorway, with an insulting comment.

Police Scotland said two youths had now been charged in connection with a communications offence.

Initially, action had been led by the school.

Hannah was born with a rare genetic condition in which the skull does not form properly.

Her first year of life was spent in hospital, she uses a wheelchair and has had five major surgeries on her skull, with the prospect of another one soon.

Image copyright Davis family
Image caption The family does fundraising

Mrs Davis explained that the images - which the BBC website chose not to show - came to light when Hannah's older sister, who attends Meldrum Academy, received them online.

One picture showed the youngster lying in a disabled parking space; another had superimposed her onto a movie poster and the third was of Hannah on a motorway.

Mrs Davis said she was "absolutely horrified".

Further discussion

On Monday, police said that after a "thorough review of the circumstances" it was decided appropriate action would be "led by the school itself".

However, on Thursday, Insp Andy Scott told BBC Scotland: "Following further discussion with the complainer involved, two youths have been charged in connection with a communications offence.

"A report has been submitted to the Youth Justice Management Unit.

"Let me stress once again that all agreed action taken up to this point in conjunction with our partners and parents was genuinely believed to be the best course, and the approach was explained to all those involved.

"Police Scotland is committed to supporting schools to ensure young people know that their actions online can have severe consequences and we take every complaint that is reported to us seriously."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites