A father who is said to be depressed following the death of one of his sons fourteen years ago, admitted yesterday to sending a hoax email to people searching for their loved ones missing in the Tsunami.Christopher Pierson sent 35 emails, claiming to be from the “Foreign Office Bureau” in Thailand, to people who had placed appeals for information on a website run by Sky News television. The emails sent by Pierson claimed that the people they were looking for were dead.
The email, which was set up to be sent out on New Years Eve, read: “It is with deep regret that from information from our embassy staff all the named people in your enquiry have been confirmed as deceased. We are very sorry to have to confirm this news.”
Pierson was arrested in his hometown Lincolnshire, England, and was taken to a central London police station for questioning. Police traced Pierson through AOL, his Internet Service Provider, and seized his computer equipment in connection with its investigation.
The Police assured worried relatives and friends that the emails were fakes before announcing the arrest.
The death toll from the tsunami, triggered by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off western Indonesia a week ago, stands at 150,000, with thousands still missing, An estimated 199 Britons are feared dead, including 25 children.
Hopes of finding missing bodies have been dashed as Thai authorities have announced that they will be calling off the search for those unaccounted for. Britain will hold a three-minute silence tomorrow at a time to be decided.