Home Australia I found my teenage son Mac Holdsworth dead in his bedroom after being caught up in a sextortion scam, but I was banned from saying anything to the man responsible for his tragic end – until now.

I found my teenage son Mac Holdsworth dead in his bedroom after being caught up in a sextortion scam, but I was banned from saying anything to the man responsible for his tragic end – until now.

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Pictured is the last photo taken of 17-year-old Mac Holdsworth and his beloved father Wayne.

Wayne Holdsworth has never been the same since the terrible moment he discovered his son hanged in his bedroom just hours after taking his own life.

Wayne, a father of two and executive director of the Frankston & District Basketball Association, had never suspected his 17-year-old son Mac was struggling.

Even in the hours before taking his own life, the teenager had been optimistic, joking with his sister and even making plans for the next morning.

Wayne now knows that Mac had sensed that he was about to be rid of the cruel sextortion scam that had turned the final stages of his life into a hellish trauma.

Mac had been tricked into sending an intimate photo to a person he thought was a teenage girl on Instagram.

Pictured is the last photo taken of 17-year-old Mac Holdsworth and his beloved father Wayne.

Instead, the photo was given to a 45-year-old pervert from New South Wales, who then used it to blackmail Mac, threatening to send the photo to the boy’s friends and family.

The man demanded $500, which Mac quickly sent. Then came a demand for another $500.

The man told Mac that his family would “hate” him and that he would want to kill himself if the photo was ever shared online.

Mac admitted the situation to his father and the police, and when they made efforts to locate the perpetrator, he hacked Mac’s Instagram account and sent the intimate photo to his inner circle.

Mac tried to laugh about the incident with his friends, but inside it had left him hurt and humiliated.

Police were able to charge the man over the sextortion scam and Mac was asked to prepare a victim impact statement to read in court.

The teenager took his own life before being able to confront his abuser.

“He, in my opinion, never got over that,” Holdsworth told Daily Mail Australia.

“The suicide letter he wrote indicated it.”

During a search of his iPad and computer, Wayne found a letter from Mac apologizing for being a burden to his family.

After his son’s death, Holdsworth made the trip from Victoria to Liverpool Court in western Sydney hoping to read his own victim impact statement to the man who ruined Mac’s life.

However, he was prevented from reading the statement after the man pleaded guilty.

“He was there behind the glass. I went in there thinking, ‘I’m going to look at this guy and give him an impact statement.’

“Well, I was shaking and I’m a pretty strong guy and the lead detective put his arm around me and said, ‘It’s okay, Wayne, don’t worry.’

‘But the prosecution and defense met and wouldn’t let me read the victim impact statement. They had reached a deal that, if he pleaded guilty, he would receive six months in prison.

“I wasn’t angry, I was just disappointed with the system that had allowed that. I spoke to both the defense and the prosecution and explained what I thought.

‘I felt really disappointed. I asked the defense attorney, Have you shown any remorse? TOAnd she said “no.”

‘When the magistrate asked him whether he would plead guilty or not, he said: “Yes, I plead guilty, but I am the victim.”

“So that bothered me a little bit.

“He was sentenced to six months and because he had been detained for three months, he is now free and I have no doubt that he is doing exactly the same thing again.”

Wayne Holdsworth has made it his life's mission to teach others about suicide prevention.

Wayne Holdsworth has made it his life’s mission to teach others about suicide prevention.

Mac took his own life exactly 100 days after his mother Renee passed away following an 18-month battle with multiple sclerosis.

‘I would ask him: “Are you okay?” ‘How are you doing?’ and he’d say ‘I’m fine, Dad’ and change the subject,” Wayne recalled.

“His optimistic attitude, especially towards the end, indicated that he got through everything, that he was fine, and it was the exact opposite.”

While online extortion was the main turning point in his son’s suicide, Holdsworth believes another incident that damaged Mac’s mental health was his apprenticeship with a local electrician.

At first, Mr. Holdsworth thought the electrician was a good guy, but he realized that when he picked Mac up from the job site, his son There was an unusual silence on the way home.

One afternoon, Mac broke down in tears as he described how he had been called “a useless idiot” after putting tools in the wrong place.

Wayne quickly realized he was being bullied and confronted the man.

“We had to get him out of there and Mac’s life turned upside down because he had planned to be a spark,” Wayne said.

‘He used to walk in his kit, the boots and the fluro jet vest to his mate’s house and they took it off very quickly.

‘I called [the electrician] and I said “Is this true?” and he said, “Yes, it is, I have to do better.” So he couldn’t deny what had happened and that hurt Mac.

Mac was able to ignore himself and found a job in retail before starting out as a carpenter’s apprentice at a different workplace, where he thrived.

Mac is remembered as a much loved friend and son who loved sport and being a tradesman.

Mac is remembered as a much loved friend and son who loved sport and being a tradesman.

His death came as a shock to many, as 700 people attended his funeral at Connect Christian Church in Frankston, southeast of Melbourne.

Holdsworth was understandably devastated by the death of his son so soon after the loss of his wife, and saw three options: take his own life, live without purpose, or dedicate his life to suicide prevention.

Since Mac’s death on October 23, Holdsworth has spent almost every day talking to parents and young people about mental health and the rising suicide rate.

He has started a non-profit organization called chat where she shares her story with groups and teaches them how to spot the signs that someone is struggling.

After presenting to 1,000 people in six weeks, 12 people came forward for help.

“Part of grieving apparently is finding something that makes you feel better. And people talk about biking or hiking or doing something physical,” she said.

“Well, this is mine… I have an absolute obligation to help other families by sharing my story and presenting some proven guidance that can hopefully help.”


Dear Sir,

My name is Wayne Holdsworth. I am the father of Mac Brennan Holdsworth, who was 16 years old when this heinous crime occurred. Mac committed suicide in October 2023 when he was 17 years old.

I saw Mac every day since the crime and it was obvious that Mac was never as secure, committed, or confident as he was before the crime.

Examples of his loss of confidence included not wanting to be a leader in his football clubs, but he was captain of his primary school and captain of a top-level football team before the crime against him occurred.

Mac stopped writing greeting cards when he told me in the car one day that he was worried the card might be shown to other people.

He said he was worried about posting photos because he was worried they could be used against him.

He would come home from work, stay in his room and only go out to dinner, you can say this is not unusual, but before the crime he would go out, laugh and watch sports on TV with me.

The night the crime occurred after the second request for more money, I spoke to the defendant who pleaded guilty and the defendant told me that he didn’t care at all about my son and that he was going to release the photos.

The messages from this germ said ‘your parents will hate you, you are a disgrace and you will want to die’. The shame my innocent victim son felt at having to face soccer practice the next night was humiliating.

Several factors contributed to his suicide and one of them was the sexual extortion of the accused, he has what is commonly known as blood on his hands.

The suicide rate has increased by 10% in New South Wales, it is the leading cause of death in New South Wales and I am now working with the Victorian Government to introduce similar legislation that South Australia has adopted and that New South Wales is considering.

However, what good is all this if we do not try to eliminate some of the reasons why young people commit suicide?

I urge you, sir, to criminalize this heinous activity and implement the harshest possible penalty to discourage such harmful extortion behavior.

You, the accused, were involved in my son taking his life and his entire family, including his 15-year-old sister and brother, being forever heartbroken.

Can you imagine the pain and sadness I just felt when cleaning his room, discovering his entire life story?

Can you imagine the tears that ran down my cheeks while moving his bicycle that he used to ride in the rain, cold and frost to get to work at 7 am?

A decent guy trying to make an honest living making frames. It’s not like you work your illegal drug regime by sexually extorting innocent young people.

You deserve to be punished at the highest possible level, you have not sought my details to apologize, therefore despite the facade you may put up today, you are not fair nor are you truly sorry.

I am 100 percent sure that if you were offered $1,000 now to do the exact same thing with the same possible consequences, you would not think for a second and commit the crime.

You need to be taught a lesson.

The cycle of extortion to pay for his drug addiction must be stopped and prolonged incarceration is the only possible switch.

Thank my Lord.

If you or someone you know needs help, you can contact Lifeline 131 114 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.

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