Woman dies after performing 'dangerous' webcam sex acts

A young U.K. woman who was moonlighting as a webcam performer died of asphyxiation after a man encouraged her to engage in dangerous sex acts, police report.

Hope Barden, 21, died in March 2018 but it was not until Wednesday that the Staffordshire coroner ruled that the death was an unlawful killing.

Police say that she had been earning extra money working in the online adult film industry.  She became the interest of a regular user, who paid her to perform sexual acts via the internet over a three-month period.  Those encounters escalated into degrading and dangerous situations.

In the deadly encounter, she suffocated when she strangled herself online for the man to watch.

Police arrested Jerome Dangar, 45, from North Cornwall in connection with the death.

Dangar was separately convicted of possession of extreme pornographic images in January 2019 and jailed for 15 months. Meanwhile, detectives continued their investigation into the circumstances surrounding Danger’s death. 

Police planned to charge Dangar with manslaughter because he had been online with her while she died and made no attempt to get emergency help to her but Dangar was found dead in his prison cell in April 2019.

Detective Inspector John Quilty said: "The death of Dangar ultimately prevented prosecutors from charging him in connection with Hope’s death as a result of sexually-related role-play. This type of online sexual activity is extremely dangerous and the repeated persuasion and dangerous requests that Dangar placed on Hope ultimately led to her death."

Kate Barden, Hope's mother issued a statement saying:  "Hope was a beautiful, intelligent young woman. She had completed her foundation degree in adolescent mental health and had recently returned from working in Norway. Hope had paid work in the Burton area as a carer for people with learning disabilities."

She went on to say:  "Anyone with daughters or other relatives involved in this terrible industry must be aware of the risk of harm. A duty of care exists in any relationship. If someone is obviously in danger, one has a legal obligation to take steps to help. In this tragic case, Hope was left to die."