In Depth

The top 10 villains of 2014

From the surreal to the deadly serious, outrage was in plentiful supply during 2014

Luis Suarez

The Uruguayan striker wreaks havoc wherever he goes – and this summer's World Cup was no exception. Suarez, who was banned for biting opponents in 2010 and 2013, made it a hat-trick of hunger when he bit Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in Brazil. He was subsequently banned from all football-related activity for four months. 

Vladimir Putin

When David Cameron and Prince Charles both compare you to Hitler, you know it's time to undertake a moral review. Since the Russian president intervened in Ukraine, many have worried that the world may have an ruthless new dictator on its hands. In December, Putin in turn accused the West of acting like the Fuhrer.

Jihadi John

The Islamic State volunteer beheaded several prisoners on video in 2014, including British aid volunteer Alan Henning. All year, speculation grew over the identity of the masked man, who appeared to have an English accent. Some believe he is London rapper L Jinny, aka Abdel Majed Abdel Bary. The FBI says it has identified the militant but is yet to release his name.

Dapper Laughs

The alter-ego of London comic Daniel O'Reilly, Dapper Laughs caused an uproar with his tips on how to "pull" women. In advice described by the Huffington Post as "a Rapist's Almanac", he offered such counsel as: "Just show her your penis. If she cries, she's just playing hard to get". As the outcry grew, O'Reilly announced on BBC Newsnight he was axing the act for good.

Emily Thornberry

The senior Labour MP resigned from Ed Miliband's shadow cabinet after tweeting a photograph of a house covered in St George's flags. She apologised after sharing the photo while campaigning in the Rochester and Strood by-election – and then within hours she had resigned from the front bench amid accusations of snobbery.

Darren Wilson

The white police officer who shot black Ferguson teenager Michael Brown in August triggered a nationwide debate about relations between US police and the country's black communities. Wilson also attracted a tsunami of abuse and threats, which eventually led him to quit the police force. He insists that he opened fire in self-defence, and a grand jury decided he should not be charged over the killing.

Sam Pepper

The YouTube star and former Big Brother housemate fell from grace in September when he posted a prank video which involved him groping women without their consent. As anger erupted across YouTube and Twitter, he backtracked, claiming the video was a social experiment to highlight sexual harassment. Soon, several young women came forward to accuse Pepper of sexual assaults. He denies the allegations.

David Mellor

Everyone's favourite self-satisfied Tory MP returned to the headlines this year when he was secretly recorded hurling abuse at a taxi driver. The audio features the LBC presenter telling the driver he is a "sweaty, stupid little s**t". It then emerged that in a separate incident Mellor had been questioned by police over an alleged "racist rant" at a security guard. No charges were brought over either episode.

Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik

The pair from boy band One Direction caused a storm in May when footage emerged of them smoking a joint while on tour in Latin America. Sitting in the back of an SUV, they share a joint and crack jokes about their "very controversial" activity. The short video shattered the squeaky clean image of the teen heartthrobs.

Woody Allen

Allen's adopted daughter Dylan Farrow wrote to the New York Times in February that the filmmaker had molested her when she was seven years old. However, Allen countered that his accuser had been coached to make the claim by his estranged former partner, Mia Farrow. Woody, 78, denies the allegations but has been pilloried by the press and social media all year.

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