Mum trapped in anti-social network of fear and bullying

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A MOTHER-of-two has suffered for more than two years at the hands of Facebook bullies, who pretend to be her when sending abuse to friends, family and even strangers.

Katie Cooper, 36, is scared to leave her home because of the abuse she gets from people in the street. And she wants them to know it is not her.

Katie, who has already moved house once after her home was attacked, said: “It’s torturing me. It makes me feel very, very upset. Why me? I’ve done nothing to anybody. It’s making me cry constantly – it’s doing my head in.

“I want to put my name in lights and say it’s not me, please believe me.

“I shouldn’t have to live like this. It’s like a horrible nightmare waiting to attack me.”

Every time Katie hears about a new fake online profile she makes sure it is shut down, but more are set up. Some have photos of her and her children.

When the Facebook bullying started in April 2009, friends and family of Katie were targeted. Once Katie proved to them it was not her behind the malicious campaign, strangers became targets for whoever is behind the fake accounts.

Claims being made on the social network site include that she caused a girl to kill herself, and threats have been made in Katie’s name to kill people’s children.

Katie, who is a former Sunday school teacher, said: “It is evil. I daren’t go out in the streets on my own.

“If people really believe it, they are going to set about me and it might be in front of my children.”

Katie says the situation is so bad that she is now getting abuse every time she leaves her house. A stranger even shouted at her when she picked up her children from school.

She said: “My kids shouldn’t have to hear that, or see me attacked for no reason.

“They have every right to have a go because they think it was me, but why don’t they pick up the phone and ring the police? I’ve had this for two-and-a-half years.”

And it is not just shouting that Katie has to put up with on a daily basis.

Katie added: “The police rang me up at Christmas time 2009 to see if I was safe because they had heard about people threatening to kill me. They had to come to find me and make sure I was safe.

“I’m depressed because of all this. It’s only my kids and my partner keeping me going.”

But further claims on the fake Facebook profiles nearly damaged her relationship with her children after social services were informed that Katie was abusing her children.

She said: “I’ve nearly had my children taken off me. It said on Facebook I was burning and scalding my child.

“Saying I’m neglecting my children is repulsive. They’re trying to cause every bit of hassle possible. ”

Police have been investigating the case since it first began.

Police spokesman James Newall said: “Miss Cooper is clearly the victim of malicious communication via Facebook. Officers are taking this extremely seriously and investigations are on-going.

“We are working closely with the victim and a neighbouring police force to get a positive outcome.”

Katie does not have a Facebook account and does not know how to use the social networking site.