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Brighton woman's relief as hacker is caught after email blunder
A hapless hacker has been arrested after his email address was left on his victim's computer.
Sussex Police officers swooped on an address in Birmingham and took in a 32-year-old man on suspicion of abusing Nicola Brookes and hacking into her computer.
In June a High Court judge ordered Facebook to release the details of web bullies who had taunted the 45-year-old from Brighton and made her life a misery.
Ms Brookes, who suffers from chronic Crohn’s disease, suffered “unbearable” online insults after posting a comment online in support of Woodingdean X-Factor contestant Frankie Cocozza.
But just days after her landmark victory, 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.
But when officers from Sussex Police examined her computer they found the hacker had left an unintended calling card behind – their own email address.
The man arrested is suspected of both being the hacker and being one of Ms Brookes’ long time tormentors.
Ms Brookes told The Argus she hoped police would now “round up the rest of them”.
She said: “I’m so happy that the authorities are finally doing something about this. I couldn’t believe it when I found out someone was actually going to be arrested.
“My life has been ruined for so long.”
When Ms Brookes complained of the abuse she was receiving, Sussex Police twice investigated and twice dropped the case.
In response, The Argus launched the Safer Surfing campaign to put pressure on the force to dedicate officers to the detection and arrest of cyber bullies.
Ms Brookes is now being helped by notorious internet privacy firm Web Sheriff which has defended celebrity clients including Prince, Adele and Lady Gaga.
Web Sheriff founder John Giacobbi said the arrest could be the first of many and praised The Argus campaign.
He said: “We fully endorse the Safer Surfing campaign and are glad to |see that Sussex Police are now moving to find and punish those who abuse people online.”
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