A Spanish man has been sentenced to ten years in prison over the suicide of a teenager he met online.
The 60-year-old was found to have harassed the boy by sending him hundreds of messages on WhatsApp, some of a sexual or aggressive nature.
The 17-year-old teenager committed suicide in December 2016 in the Castellón region of eastern Spain.
On the day of his death, the suspect “sent him more than 119 messages with intimidating and threatening content in less than three hours”, the court said in a statement.
The teenager had asked the man to stop contacting him, warning that “if he continued like this, he would commit suicide”.
Judges said that the 60-year-old was “fully aware of the anguish and discomfort” he was causing and that there was a “high probability” the teenager would commit suicide.
The man had threatened to share the WhatsApp messages and blackmail the boy for using adult websites, the court added.
In addition to the prison sentence, he was ordered to pay €173,000 in damages to the boy’s family for moral prejudice.
He can appeal the verdict.