Samantha Redding was horrified to learn that one of her most treasured snaps of her late son Scott Martin, was being used under a fake username on Tinder and Bumble this weekend – four months after his death.
The 41-year-old Falkirk mum, who is grieving the loss of her 16-year-old son after he took his own life on New Year’s Day, became aware of the profiles after screenshots were sent to her eldest son and her sister.
Samantha, who has set up The Scott Martin Foundation in a bid to help children and young people struggling with mental health problems, told the Daily Record she was left reeling after a photograph of talented amateur boxer Scott from the foundation’s website has been used to make up the sick accounts.
Two separate accounts have appeared on Tinder under the false ID of ‘Thomas, 18, professional boxer’ – while another on Bumble lists Scott as ‘Harry, 18, from Dunblane ‘.
Both accounts use Scott’s boxing picture from his days at Sparta Boxing Club in Falkirk.
Speaking through tears the tormented mum said: “It’s disgusting. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It felt like someone had punched me in the gut. That is one of my favourite pictures of Scott and to see it used for some sicko’s idea of a joke, or whatever it is, is absolutely devastating.”
Samantha has since contacted both sites to have the profiles removed.
Apprentice joiner Scott was found dead in Camelon Cemetery in Falkirk on the morning of January 1 2021.
He had been at a friend’s house to celebrate Hogmanay and following the party, was supposed to be heading straight to his dad David Martin’s home to spend New Year’s Day with him.
Tragically, the teen never arrived and was found dead the following morning in the graveyard by a couple who were walking their dog.
Samantha said: “His friends left him at one end of the cemetery and it was a 15 minute walk from there to his dad’s house, but he never made it. Somewhere on that walk home he made the decision to take his own life.”
Samantha says that although she knew her middle son was struggling with mental health issues, he had been ‘getting better’ in the weeks before his death so the news of his suicide was a gut-wrenching blow.
She told the Record: “He called me bang on midnight and wished me a Happy New Year. I asked him if he was ok and he said he was.
“He ended the call and said ‘I love you mum’ which took me aback a wee bit because it wasn’t something that was easy to get out of teenage boys. I just put it down to the fact he’d had a couple of drinks.
“The next day I called him about 11am. He didn’t answer so I assumed he was still in bed at his dad’s house.
“But at 1pm there was knock at the door and it was the police. They asked me if I was the mother of Scott Martin.
“When they said he had been found dead I was absolutely shocked. The pain I felt was like nothing I can describe.”
Samantha said Scott was a happy child but suffered major childhood trauma when he was diagnosed with bladder cancer at the age of 12 and spent weeks in Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children in 2016.
Samantha says, despite later getting the all-clear, his behaviour changed dramatically following the treatment and he went from being a happy, laid back child, to a teenager who suffered from mood swings and emotional outbursts.
Samantha said: “After his cancer treatment he just wasn’t the same boy. He would get really angry or overwhelmed very easily.”
Terrified for her son’s wellbeing, Samantha reached out to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and pleaded for help.
But despite some support, Samantha later discovered her son was self-harming and before his eventual death, he had attempted suicide three times.
Samantha and all of Scott’s family and friends have been left utterly shattered by his death and the mum-of-three says she will never, ever come to terms with her loss.
She said: “It’s something you read about and hear about, how devastating a suicide is on those left behind to grieve, but honestly, until it happens to you, there is just no way to understand it.
“I will never understand it for as long as I live. Scott was loved and loving and for a teenage boy, he never gave me any bother at all. We were close.
“But he must have felt so alone and like there was no way out.”
Samantha says setting up the foundation has given her a focus.
She added: “We have to try and carry on but it is so difficult. There are days when I can’t even look at Scott’s things and the foundation makes me face it head on because I have to talk about Scott’s story so often.
“If talking about what happened to Scott will prevent just one other kid going through what he did then I will do it every day for the rest of my life.
“He meant everything to us and we want his life to have a legacy.”
A spokesperson for Tinder said: “First and foremost our thoughts are with Scott Martin’s loved ones. We have a zero tolerance policy for this type of behaviour and in this case the violating profile has been removed.
Our team uses a network of industry- leading systems to prevent, monitor and remove inappropriate behaviour and suspicious profiles flagged through this technology as well as member generated reports.”
A spokeswoman for Bumble confirmed that the profile using Scott’s image has now been deleted from their site.
A Tinder spokeswoman said: “First and foremost our thoughts are with Scott Martin’s loved ones. We have a zero tolerance policy for this type of behaviour and in this case the violating profile has been removed.
“Our team uses a network of industry- leading systems to prevent, monitor and remove inappropriate behaviour and suspicious profiles flagged through this technology as well as member generated reports.”
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