Page last updated at 21:27 GMT, Thursday, 18 February 2010

Father speaks out over false paedophile Facebook post

Luke and Karen Chatfield
The Chatfields' children were too scared to go in the front garden

A father has spoken of his ordeal after being wrongly named as a paedophile on Facebook by a disgruntled neighbour.

Luke Chatfield was forced to leave his job, abused in the street and had a panic alarm installed at his home in Sale, Greater Manchester.

The father-of-three said his neighbour, Sally Pepper, posted the "evil lies" due to a dispute about her loud music.

A police spokesman said Ms Pepper was fined £80 for sending false messages likely to cause distress.

Ms Pepper posted the message on a Facebook vigilante site for sex offenders, which has since been removed.

She wrote: "I know another one, Luke Chatfield, he works in BBs cafe, Stretford Arndale."

Another user then responded with: "Anyone know his house number?"

Mr Chatfield only found out when someone told him about it at work.

'Constant abuse'

"I had to leave my job," he said, "It was too much to cope with, she had posted where I worked and I was getting constant abuse.

"We had snowballs pelted at my house and my three young children were even too scared to go in the front garden in case they saw her."

Mr Chatfield's wife Karen said she felt Ms Pepper had "got away with her evil lies".

Mr Chatfield, who also volunteers at his children's school, has a clean criminal record bureau (CRB) check and has never broken the law.

"Two of my children are disabled, my wife is registered disabled, and I have to make sure my family is fed.

Sally Pepper
Sally Pepper told the BBC she did not regret what she did

"Losing about £1,500 in earnings after being forced out of my job has made life even more difficult.

"She has almost destroyed my life."

Ms Pepper told the BBC that she "was a nervous wreck" and wants to move house. She said she did not regret what she did.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman added: "Officers spoke to a woman... about the offence and issued her with a fixed penalty notice for sending false messages likely to cause distress under the Communications Act.

"Both parties were in agreement with this course of action.

"The Sale Neighbourhood Policing Team has also been working with the housing trust in an effort to resolve any long-term issues between the neighbours."

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