Michelle Chapman jailed for 'wicked' Facebook vendetta against her own family
A WOMAN who waged a vendetta against her family by setting up fake Facebook profiles to send hundreds of abusive messages to herself has been jailed.
Michelle Chapman's actions resulted in innocent people being arrested or receiving police cautions and the breakdown of her father's marriage, Truro Crown Court heard.
Sentencing her to 20 months in prison Judge Christopher Harvey Clark, QC, described her as 'wicked'.
The court was told Chapman, 24, of Robins Close, Par, set up fake Facebook profiles, complete with pictures, for her victims, which included her father and his wife, and then used those profiles to send herself abusive messages, before making complaints to police.
Free DT333 System Phone with all New NCP Panasonic Business...View details
Make Sure Your Business In Cornwall Chooses The Correct Business Telephone System At The Most Competitive Price.
Approved Panasonic Telecommunications Installer.
Terms: Terms: Please Quote This Genuine Offer When Booking An Appointment With Your Telecommunication Engineer. We Also Offer A Demonstration Of The Proposed System Please Ask For This Free Service
Contact: 01726 213808
Valid until: Monday, March 31 2014
Philip Lee, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Chapman made eight written statements to the police between February and October 2011, complaining about the messages she was receiving, many of which were of a 'very unpleasant sexual nature'.
As a result, two members of her extended family – Angela Steen and Elaine Abrams – were given official police warnings and her then stepmother, Louise Steen, was arrested and interviewed. Mr Lee said Chapman's father, Roy Jackson, married Louise Steen in 2010.
He had not seen his daughter for 21 years but after tracking her down, Chapman and her husband went to visit her father in the north of England.
Mr Lee said: "Unfortunately, there was an altercation when this defendant became upset and it culminated in her trying to get out of a moving vehicle.
"It was after that that Roy Jackson began to receive abusive and offensive messages which purported to be from Louise."
Chapman then began her year-long campaign of sending abusive messages to herself and making complaints to police.
Officers uncovered the truth when forensic internet inquiries revealed that the Facebook profiles had been created at Chapman's address.
Mr Lee said Chapman initially denied responsibility but eventually admitted the offences in the face of "incontrovertible" evidence.
"She said that she wanted revenge on her father for matters in the past ... she wanted to make their life hell."
As a result of Chapman's actions her father's marriage broke down. The court heard Chapman had been cautioned for a similar offence in 2009.
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."
At a previous hearing, Chapman admitted doing actions tending or intended to pervert the course of justice by sending herself degrading e-mails between February 2011 and March 2012, which purported to have been sent by Louise Jackson (Steen), Roy and Wendy Jackson.
Sentencing her to 20 months in prison, Judge Harvey Clark added: "People have suffered a great deal of distress as a result of your wicked behaviour."
Chapman was also made the subject of a restraining order not to contact her victims and had her computer confiscated.
Her husband, Glyn Chapman, 57, told the Cornish Guardian after sentencing that he is standing by his wife. "She is the victim, she has mental health issues and it was a cry for help. This is what you do when you're in desperate, desperate need of help – you scream out."