Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/08/30/police_officer_arrested_facebook_nicola_brookes/

Brummie plod cuffed in Facebook troll hunt

Don't I know you, sunshine?

By Kelly Fiveash

Posted in Law, 30th August 2012 11:57 GMT

A serving West Midlands police officer has been arrested after a woman was torn into by trolls on Facebook.

Nicola Brookes, 45, of Brighton, received "vicious and depraved" taunts on the dominant social network as she wrote comments defending disqualified X Factor wannabe Frankie Cocozza.

Detectives from her home town arrested a 32-year-old man of Bournville, Birmingham, on suspicion of misuse of a computer on 21 August based on allegations they received from Brookes.

"The complaint from the victim relates to abuse that she received whilst using her Facebook account and also that her account and emails had been hacked into by an unknown source," Sussex police said in a statement to The Register.

"Officers examined her computer as part of an ongoing investigation to try and trace the source of the abuse and security breach. The man has been bailed to 19 October pending further enquiries," the force added.

West Midlands police assisted the probe into one of its officers, who has not been named. West Midlands cops gave us this statement in response to our questions: "The investigation is ongoing by Sussex Police, and the allegations do not relate to use of police systems. The officer has not been suspended. The officer is not a frontline officer."

In June, Brookes won a landmark High Court order forcing Facebook to reveal the identities of anonymous internet trolls who abused her online. Her legal victory meant she was able to bring a private prosecution against at least four alleged online bullies. Facebook had to reveal the names and email and IP addresses of those said to be behind the malicious messages on the site.

The court order was granted on 30 May, but it had to be served on Facebook in the US where the company stores its data. ®