Woman becomes first person to be jailed for 'trolling herself'

Michelle Chapman is thought be the first person to be prosecuted in the UK for sending herself abusive messages using bogus Facebook profiles

A woman who used fake Facebook profiles to send herself hundreds of abusive messages has been jailed for 20 months.

Michelle Chapman, from Cornwall, is thought to be the first person in the UK to have been prosecuted for "trolling" herself.

Chapman set up fake accounts in the name of her father and new stepmother; sending herself hundreds of abusive messages of 'very unpleasant sexual nature' before reporting them to the police, court heard.

She was cautioned for a similar offence back in 2009- yet police still took her allegations seriously.

Her father, Roy Jackson, and stepmother, Louise, were arrested and given a warning as a result. Her year-long campaign only came to an end after forensic Internet inquiries revealed both accounts had been created at her own address.

Prosecutor Philip Lee said Chapman "wanted to make their life hell" and sought "revenge on her father for matters in the past".

She fell out with her in-laws after attempting a reunion with his father, whom she had not seen for 21 years. But there was an altercation and she became "upset".

Chapman began her revenge by setting up a fake account for her new stepmother to send offensive messages to her father in a desperate attempt to break them up. She then spent a year "trolling" herself online.

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

Her lawyer, Martin Pearce, said she suffered from mental health problems and wishes "she had not done it".

Sentencing her to 20 months in prison, Judge Harvey Clark said: "People have suffered a great deal of distress as a result of your wicked behaviour."

Her husband, Glyn Chapman, said his wife was crying for help.

He added: "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."

Chapman has been given a restraining order and her computer was confiscated.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
News
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
news
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn