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Death threats posted by girl, 9

14 March 08 19:50 GMT

A nine-year-old girl has admitted posting death threats on the internet blog of a young leukaemia sufferer.

Sophie Foxley, from Shrewsbury, Shropshire, started her diary about her fight against the disease in 2006 and it soon became read around the world.

But disturbing messages were posted in November, which police said have been traced to the computer of a girl in the north-east of England.

She has since been spoken to by police and has apologised.

Sophie, also nine, was forced to leave her home with her parents after receiving the messages which included "Me and my husband are going to kidnap you" and "You are going to be murdered tonight".

She was inundated with messages of support after receiving the threats, six of which were initially found by her elder sister before her mother, Jane, uncovered more.

Mrs Foxley had previously denied claims that the website was started to make money.

Sophie is currently recovering after a recent course of intensive chemotherapy.

'Shocked' at age

Phil Foxley, Sophie's father, said: "They (the messages) got to the stage where they said someone was going to come round and slit her (Sophie's) throat.

"You just don't know if it's someone for real or a hoax at the time.

"We didn't expect it to be someone so young and there are mixed feelings, because we're just shocked by how young the person is who's been traced."

West Mercia Police launched an investigation in November and has now confirmed that a nine-year-old girl been spoken to by officers.

'Complex investigation'

Det Con Russell Teece, of Shrewsbury CID said they were pleased to have resolved the case.

"There can be no excuse for this kind of behaviour and the young girl has apologised to police for her actions.

"The victim and her family were left extremely upset and frightened by the messages.

"They were all traced to a computer in the north-east of England and the nine-year-old spoken to about the incidents admitted sending them all.

"It has been a long and complex investigation with a successful outcome, and suitable and strong words of advice were given to the girl over her behaviour.

"We are pleased to have been able to resolve this upsetting issue for the family."

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