Adam Owens death: Son's memory 'tainted by misleading story'

By Lisa McAlister

media captionAdam Owens death: Son's memory 'tainted by misleading story'

A mother has spoken of her distress after an American website used her dead son's picture without her permission next to a misleading article.

Adam Owens, 17, was found dead in Newtownards, County Down, after taking so-called legal highs in April 2015.

The website,, used his image in an article that Adele Wallace says has "totally destroyed and tainted" her son's memory.

Following its publication, the story became a focus for internet trolls.

image captionAdele Wallace told BBC News the website had contributed to tainting her son's memory

The piece wrongly linked her son to a new drug craze in America involving anti-diarrhoea medication.

Ms Wallace found it on social media.

Although the website has now removed any reference to Adam, the original article has been viewed and shared hundreds of times and is still available on other websites.


She said the entire episode has left her hugely distressed.

"Every day is a tough day for me if I'm blatantly honest", she told BBC News.

"To come across an article like that was so unjustified and so wrong, and even to put his photograph and link him to this other drugs craze in America, it's just upset me so much."

image copyrightAdele Wallace
image captionSome internet-users even suggested her son "deserved to die".

She said so-called internet trolls, who added "horrific, disgusting, vile and filthy comments", have added to her grief.

"It's just ongoing now and there's no stopping it", she said.

Some internet-users even suggested her son "deserved to die".

Ms Wallace said she felt those comments would be out there "forever" now.

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