Woman’s online hate campaign

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A WOMAN mounted a Facebook vendetta against a social worker after her family life collapsed.

Melain Brass began asking friends of the safeguarding officer for personal information about him via the social networking website.

The 34-year-old then set up bogus accounts in his name, and posted up critical messages about him.

Peterlee Magistrates’ Court heard the online activity happened between January 2010 and August last year, after Brass and her husband began to suffer relationship difficulties and she moved out of the family home.

The court heard it was then Mrs Brass started the vendetta against her social worker.

Prosecutor Debra Jones said: “He became aware and contacted police in May 2011 and Mrs Brass was spoken to and warned it was harassment and it was thought that would be the end of it.

“However, she started Facebook comments about him professionally and she was subsequently arrested.”

When interviewed, she told police the messages were put on the site after nothing appeared to happen after she made a complaint to the General Social Care Council.

Mrs Jones added: “In relation to social work, it would be expected to come across dissatisfied people, it’s a challenging role, and one which families find challenging.

“But he says he didn’t expect to get the abuse he did from somebody he had been working with and it had affected his professional and also his social life.”

Brass, of Watt Street, Murton, entered a guilty plea to harassment without violence after first denying the charge.

Chris Wilson, mitigating, said 12 months had lapsed since the last message had been sent and explained her actions were set against a background of family problems, the loss of her husband’s job which led to financial worries and post-natal depression.

He said: “This caused a great deal of strain and in order to get some help, social services became involved.

“Ultimately, the relationship had broken down and she was concerned about her future.”

Magistrates decided to adjourn the case until Tuesday, September 4, to allow a report to be prepared to help the bench decide a sentence, but warned her they were considering a suspended jail term among the options.

Efforts will also be made to draw up a restraining order to stop Brass contacting the social worker.

She was released on bail with the condition she does not contact him directly or indirectly.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham