Tom Acton, a 16-year-old schoolboy, is a martyr to the community of the wrongly accused. Tom was falsely accused of raping a girl after supposedly tying her to a tree and taking pictures of the ordeal. The lies started after he dared to stand up against criminal activity in his neighborhood of Poynton, Cheshire. Tom suffered a terrible ordeal because of it, and he died at his home for reasons that aren't clear. Tom died just days before he was supposed to testify against a young man who had attacked him. What happened to Tom as a result of his efforts to do the right thing is reprehensible. The community and law enforcement let him down.
After the lies were told about him, Tom was attacked in the street, targeted on Facebook and angry youths turned up at his house. The young man who attacked him bragged to a girl: "I pulled up in the car got out, banged his head against the wall and then hit him in the face a few times." A gang of 30 came to Tom's house and said they wanted "to get rid of the vermin." Tom became a recluse, and his mother said he would cry.
Tom's mother called the police. She says the police told her there was nothing they could do about it.
The rape lie was spread about Tom after he gave information to police about drug dealers in Poynton.
After he was attacked and threatened, Tom made a statement about one of his attackers: "There were rumours that I had tied a girl to a tree, raped her and took pictures. As you can imagine I can no longer walk down the street as everyone calls me a rapist. I felt so scared for my life I wanted to break down and cry. I was scared to go out of the house. I wish I wasn't here. No one has the right or authority to assault me, cause me harm."
Tom's mother said that that Tom "would always fight and had a strong sense of justice, and if somebody was being bullied he would always be the first one there to help them." After Tom died, the family received over 200 cards with everyone saying what a good friend he was and how he would help everyone "but no one was there to help him in his darkest hours," she said.