Man charged in Romania in connection with webcam blackmail of Tyrone teenager

17-year-old Ronan Hughes took his own life in 2015

A man has appeared in court in Romania in connection with the webcam blackmail of a 17-year-old Tyrone teenager who took his own life.

The 31-year-old male appeared at Bucharest Municipal Court, charged with producing and distributing indecent images of children and blackmail. 

The man has been remanded in custody.

The charges are connected to a PSNI investigation into alleged online blackmail linked to the death of Ronan Hughes in June 2015.

Mr Hughes from Clonoe in County Tyrone died in June of last year. His parents said he took his own life.

The investigation has seen PSNI liaising with a number of agencies in a variety of jurisdictions - including Policia Româna, the Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism in Romania, the National Crime Agency and Europol.

PSNI Detective Superintendent Gary Reid said the investigation has been “complex and protracted and we are grateful to our colleagues in our partner agencies for their assistance to date”.

“Detectives from the PSNI are currently in Romania assisting our colleagues with this phase of the investigation,” he said.

“As legal proceedings are now ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.

He reminded internet users to be mindful of their online activity “particularly with strangers”.