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Online hate campaign targets Brighton mum
An online hate campaign targeted a Brighton mother who stood up for reality TV bad boy Frankie Cocozza.
Nicola Brookes from Brighton posted a comment on social networking site Facebook defending the X Factor contestant after her daughter told her he had been sent hate mail.
Ms Brookes, 45, told a national newspaper: “People were wishing Frankie dead.
“I left one comment telling him to keep his chin up.”
Within minutes anonymous Facebook users turned on her and more than 100 abusive messages were posted within 24 hours.
Internet users who harass and bully others are known as “trolls” in the online community.
Ms Brookes, who has been seriously ill in recent years, said the abuse she received was almost unbearable.
She reported the offending posts but says she received no response from Facebook.
Then she discovered that a troll had set up a fake account in her name.
To her horror she learned that the fake page was spewing out messages to Cocozza’s 98,000 fans, many of whom are children.
Many of the messages contained explicit content and were sent to children as young as nine.
Ms Brookes said: “They set up a sex profile with my name and photograph and personal e-mail address, saying I was Frankie’s drug dealer, a prostitute and a paedophile.”
When she first reported the incident to police in Brighton Ms Brookes said she was told harassment had become so common that officers could not take action and that no crime had been committed.
It was only after her lawyer wrote to the chief inspector that the case was reopened, she claims.
A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said: “We sympathise with the woman for the distress this has caused her and if we are able to identify the person responsible we will take punitive action."