The late Brenda Leyland and her son, Ben, hounded to death by the McCanns for being a 'troll'
By Tracey Kandohla
10th March 2017, 11:26 am
MADELEINE McCann’s parents have vowed to report “malicious and offensive” trolls to cops as the torrent of online abuse rises in the run up to the tenth anniversary of her disappearance.
Kate and Gerry McCann fear they will be subjected to an even bigger outpouring of internet hate as the heart-wrenching milestone approaches in May.
Last Sunday selfie queen Karen Danczuk sparked fury by claiming the couple “have guilt” in an astonishing Twitter tirade on Kate’s 49th birthday.
She said: “Anyone who says McCanns are innocent, just remember they left 3 children under the age of 4 alone to go out. Either Way they have guilt! KD”.
Former glamour model Jodie Marsh recently launched a similar attack, slamming the McCanns while apparently watching investigative journalist Mark Williams-Thomas revealing his latest theory on the case on ITV’s This Morning.
She tweeted: “In my opinion it’s all going to come crashing down for the McCanns…
“I must admit, if it were my child I’d be on my hands & knees digging up the earth with my bare hands! Nothing else would matter.”
A close pal of the McCanns said of the approaching anniversary: “It’s a very difficult and emotional time for them and they don’t need the extra anguish of having tweeters and minor celebrities posting negative and hurtful remarks about them.
“They are now filtering, with the aid of their official representative and friends, any cruel and offensive material which oversteps the mark to pass on to police to assess. Malicious communication is an offence.
“People seem to be saying whatever they want which is the eyes of the law could be deemed a criminal offence. There is a constant and growing activity by these ghouls and it’s a disgrace.
“It continues to anger and upset Madeleine’s family.”
The McCanns, from Rothley, Leics, are targeted by up to 150 abuse tweets every day, most of them sent by women, research found.
Psychologist Dr John Synott said: “Most trolling behaviour has a lifespan of a couple of days. But the McCann case has been going on for nearly ten years and you cannot see the abuse ever ending.”
The couple’s spokesman Clarence Mitchell told The Sun Online: “Any threatening and malicious communication will immediately be forwarded to the police for them to investigate and to act upon where necessary."
Like this you mean, Clarence?
Former GP Kate, whose hope of finding her daughter alive never fades, has previously said: “We’ve had lots of abuse over the years. People wouldn’t get away with behaving like that in the street and yet they feel they can hide behind a computer at home. They’re cowards.”
Kate revealed that while she and heart doctor husband Gerry, 48, try to ignore the negative comments posted on Twitter and chat forums, some are too malicious to forget.
The anguished mum said in an TV interview with Lorraine Kelly: “It’s the internet abuse that is so damaging and we both feel really strongly that more should be done about it.”
Gerry has in the past hit out at trolls targeting his family with threats of violence and kidnapping, and said he worries about his 12-year-old twins Sean and Amelie using the internet.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “There have been instances where people are threatening to kidnap our children. People are threatening violence against Kate and myself.
“Of course it’s not just us. It is many other people who happen to find themselves in rather tragic circumstances. I do think we need to make examples of people who are causing damage.”
Kate and Gerry also hit out at the “insensitive” way Madeleine was drawn into hit BBC drama The Moorside – based on the fake kidnap of Shannon Matthews.
Three-year-old Madeleine vanished from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3, 2007, while her parents were dining nearby with pals.
British police are winding down their £13million probe, but Kate and Gerry have never given up hope of finding their daughter, who would now be 13.