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Facebook user Michelle Chapman first woman to be jailed for trolling herself

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: February 05, 2014

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A woman has become the first person in Britain to be jailed for trolling herself - after bombarding her own Facebook page with fake abuse.

Michelle Chapman, 24, launched her bizarre online campaign after falling out with her dad and her new stepmother, a court heard.

She created bogus Facebook accounts for the couple and other members of her family then sent herself hundreds of vile sexual taunts.

Chapman then reported the abuse to police claiming she'd been 'trolled' in a warped attempt to frame them.

Officers then arrested her stepmother and issued warnings to her dad and other bewildered relatives.

Chapman's year-long vendetta was only rumbled when forensic internet experts established the offending Facebook accounts had been set up at her home.

Details of the extraordinary plot were revealed at Truro Crown Court in Cornwall where Chapman was jailed for 20 months.

She admitted doing actions tending or intended to pervert the course of justice by sending herself degrading emails between February 2011 and March 2012, at an earlier hearing.

Judge Christopher Harvey Clark also banned her from having computer equipment or contacting her relatives.

He told her: "People have suffered a great deal of distress as a result of your wicked behaviour."

The court heard 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 had an angry bust up.

Philip Lee, prosecuting, said: "Unfortunately, there was an altercation when this defendant became upset."

Mr Lee said Chapman begun her revenge plot by creating a Facebook account for her new step-mum and used it to send abusive messages to her dad 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 numerous complaints to police and gave eight written statements between February and October 2011.

Chapman had been cautioned for a similar offence of sending a false message in 2009 - and yet police still took her allegations seriously.

The court heard two members of her extended family, Angela Steen and Elaine Abrams, were given police warnings and her stepmother was even arrested and interviewed.

Officers only uncovered the truth when forensic internet inquiries revealed that the Facebook profiles had all been created at Chapman's address in Par, Cornwall.

Mr Lee said she initially denied responsibility in interview but eventually admitted the offences 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 suffered 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."

Chapman was made the subject of a restraining order not to contact her victims and had her computer was confiscated.

Her husband, Glyn Chapman, 57, said afterwards he was standing by his wife.

He said: "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."

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