Woman jailed for ‘trolling herself’Comment on this story
A woman has become the first person in Britain to be jailed for trolling herself - after bombarding her own Facebook page with abuse.
Michelle Chapman, 24, launched her bizarre online campaign after falling out with her father and new stepmother, a court heard.
She created bogus Facebook accounts for the couple and other family members and sent herself hundreds of vile sexual taunts.
Chapman then reported the abuse to police - claiming she had been trolled - to frame them.
Officers arrested her stepmother and issued warnings to her father and other bewildered relatives.
Chapman”s year-long vendetta was only rumbled when internet experts established the offending Facebook accounts had been set up using the computer at her home in Par, Cornwall.
Details of her plot were revealed at Truro Crown Court in Cornwall, where Chapman was jailed for 20 months. At an earlier hearing, she admitted doing actions tending or intended to pervert the course of justice by sending herself degrading emails between February 2011 and March 2012.
Judge Christopher Harvey Clark confiscated her computer and gave her a restraining order against contacting her victims.
He told her: “People have suffered a great deal of distress as a result of your wicked behaviour.”
Chapman fell out with her in-laws after attempting a reunion with her father, Roy Jackson, who she had not seen for 21 years.
Mr Jackson had decided to trace his daughter after marrying Louise Steen in 2010 but when Chapman travelled to his home in the north of England they quarrelled.
Philip Lee, prosecuting, said Chapman was upset and began her revenge plot by creating a Facebook account for her new stepmother and using it to send abusive messages to her father in an attempt to split them up.
She then set up more profiles for her relatives, complete with photos, and spent the next year sending messages of a “very unpleasant sexual nature” to her own account. Mr Lee said Chapman made several complaints to police and gave eight written statements between February and October 2011.
She had been cautioned for a similar offence of sending a false message in 2009 and yet police still took her allegations seriously.
Two members of her extended family, Angela Steen and Elaine Abrams, were given police warnings. Mr Lee said she initially denied responsibility but eventually admitted it in the face of “incontrovertible” evidence. He said: “She said that she wanted revenge on her father for matters in the past. She just wanted to make their life hell.” The court heard the trolling campaign sparked a breakdown in her father’s marriage.
Martin Pearce, for the defence, said Chapman suffers from mental health problems.
He said: “She says she wishes she had not done it and she says she understands the impact on the victims.”
Her husband, Glyn Chapman, 57, said afterwards that he will be standing by his wife: “She is the victim, she has mental health issues and it was a cry for help.
“She has not had the help she needs. This is what you do when you’re in desperate, desperate need of help - you scream out.” - Daily Mail