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Hacker hits Brighton cyber bully campaigner
2:50pm Monday 11th June 2012 in News
A hacker broke into a woman’s computer days after she had won a court battle to unmask her online tormentors.
Last week a High Court judge ordered Facebook to release the details of web bullies who had taunted Nicola Brookes from Brighton.
But on Wednesday Ms Brookes found her personal computer had been infiltrated by an unknown user.
Personal emails between her and her lawyers had been opened and crucial case evidence examined.
However, the hapless hacker is believed to have left an unintended calling card behind – their own email address.
Last night Sussex Police said it had launched an investigation into the incident.
Ms Brookes said: “I couldn’t believe it when I found someone had been through my emails. I have no idea how they did it.
“There’s some pretty important stuff in there and it certainly caused a panic.
“I just hope they find whoever did it as soon as possible.”
Ms Brookes, who suffers from chronic Crohn’s disease, suffered “unbearable” online taunts and insults after posting a comment online in support of Woodingdean X-Factor contestant Frankie Cocozza.
At the High Court a judge ordered Facebook to release the personal details of the offenders within four weeks, which the US-based company has agreed to do under Californian law.
Rupinder Bains, from Ms Brookes’ lawyers Bains Cohen, said the hacker would face a possible prison sentence if caught. She said: “Harassing someone online is an offence which could carry a six month jail term.
“But hacking into someone’s personal computer is even more serious. They could face up to a year in jail.
“Apparently they left their own email address on the computer which is incredibly stupid and should hopefully lead to their arrest.”
A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: “Following a report that Ms Brookes' computer had been hacked on Wednesday Sussex Police has contacted her to gather information from her about the incident.”