A hoaxer claiming responsibility for threats to carry out a High School “massacre” has posted an apparent confession on a regional daily’s website.
The supposed confession and apology was published on The Gazette, Blackpool’s website after the newspaper reported how more than 1,000 pupils had stayed away from the resort’s Montgomery High School on Monday after a threat to leave a trail of “bullets, bodies, and blood” was made on Facebook over the weekend.
Although Lancashire Police described the threats as “non-credible” from the now-deleted social networking site account, thought to have been created under a pseudonym, officers stood guard outside the school as a precaution, as reported by the Gazette on Monday.
The commenter on The Gazette’s website, posting under the name of ‘The Real John Smith’, claimed to be the person responsible, admitting their actions had been “incredibly stupid”.
The user said they were a 15-year-old pupil at the school, who had been subjected to bullying there for around two years.
However, there is no evidence at present suggesting that this is the case.
The commenter posted: “I only wanted to scare the bullies, and make the teachers wake up. I did NOT want attention, I did NOT want news coverage. This whole thing was a gigantic mistake and I’m incredibly sorry for my actions.
“The bullies have honestly made me consider suicide in the past, but I’m hanging on for now. I really feel like this could push me over the edge if I have to do police interviews and get plastered over the news as a terrorist and potentially get arrested.
“I seriously can’t handle that so please just consider this from a 15 year olds [sic] point of view that’s getting bullied. I know that’s no excuse, but it’s too late to undo the damage.”
Gazette reporter Michael Holmes, who lives near the school, broke the initial story and worked through his weekend off in order to get the above splash on Monday.
The full apparent confession and apology was posted on The Gazette’s website yesterday morning, under the headline “Is this the ‘Monty Massacre’ suspect confessing?”
Lancashire Police has requested the poster’s details from The Gazette, and the paper is now liaising with the force in support of the investigation.
Gazette deputy editor Andy Sykes said: “This is another example of a Facebook story instantly going viral.
“Members of the public are coming to our website and newspaper to seek credible and rational reporting of an issue which has caused a lot of anxiety and upset among parents and children.
“It is worth stressing at this point that there is still no suggestion that the perpetrator is a bullied child or the posting is from the person responsible but it adds yet another element to the police investigation. Police are continuing to try to trace those behind this threat.”