A WOMAN ignored warnings and sent a series of “hate-filled rants” to the mother of a man cleared of sexual activity with an underage girl, a court heard.

Amanda Copley was told she, “skirted perilously close to blackmail” in her persistent messaging on social media earlier this year.

Durham Crown Court was told the messages began shortly after her victim’s son was acquitted at the same court in early February.

She threatened to spread word about the woman’s “nonce son” all over social media, and told her there was, “no hole or rock to hide under”.

Anthony Pettengell, prosecuting, said the complainant replied telling Copley to, “grow up”.

When spoken to by police and warned about her behaviour, later in February, she said she did not believe her messages to be “malicious”.

But, Mr Pettengell, said the messaging continued, even on the victim’s business Facebook page, and so Copley was once again interviewed by police.

She accepted sending the further messages but claimed she was providing, “a public service” informing them, although she agreed it was in the face of being warned by the police not to contact the woman.

Mr Pettengell said: “It clearly caused some distress and was a persistent action over months, despite being warned,” aggravated by the fact it was in breach of a suspended sentence from last year for taking part in an aggravated burglary.

He told the court she has 25 previous convictions for 70 offences.

Martin Scarborough, in mitigation, told the court: “She clearly reacted very badly to the outcome of the trial.”

But he said she had responded well to the community element of last year’s suspended sentence.

Judge James Adkin told Mr Scarborough: “She’s skirting perilously close to blackmail with some of these messages. It’s really thin ice that she’s on.

“These were grim, hate and volatile-filled rants, which were persistent and distressing.”

Copley, 48, of Welland Close, Peterlee, admitted harassment.

Judge Adkin imposed a six-month community order but reminded Copley she remains subject to the suspended sentence from June, last year.

She must also observe a four-month 7pm to 7am home curfew, except on a Wednesday, when it starts at 8pm.

Copley was also made subject of a lifetime restraining order prohibiting her from contacting or approaching the victim, her partner and son.

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