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Web troll guilty of harassing Lee Rigby's family

By Ben Kendall

An internet troll who claimed the murder of Lee Rigby was made up to provoke anti-Islamic feelings has been found guilty of harassing the soldier's family.

Christopher Spivey, of Rochford, Essex, posted a series of comments on social media about Fusilier Rigby's killing.

They included claims the soldier had never existed and his murder was a conspiracy.

The 52-year-old denied two counts of harassment and two of sending grossly offensive messages over social media.

He was found guilty after a two-day trial at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court.

He will be sentenced on August 27.

In a statement read to the court, Fusilier Rigby's mother Lyn said she found his claims "extremely disturbing" and "sick".

During the trial, magistrates heard Spivey made the bizarre claims on a website where he regularly posts his opinions on world events.

In his 11-month campaign, he claimed family photos of the Rigbys had been doctored. He also said the soldier had never actually existed.

Spivey made direct contact with members of the Rigby family as they struggled to come to terms with their loss, the court heard.

Jenny Hopkins, chief Crown prosecutor, said: "Mr Spivey posted a number of comments on social media about the murder of Fusilier Rigby which were very upsetting to his family and friends.

"People can and do post all kinds of comments on social media and are not prosecuted for them.

"But in this case we were satisfied that the posts crossed the line into criminal behaviour targeted at the Rigby family."

The prosecution's case was that the combination of the postings about the Rigby family, upsetting assertions, and the publication of details of two of the family's homes, could not be justified under freedom of speech.

"After hearing all the evidence, the court has found Mr Spivey's behaviour in uploading these posts amounted to the harassment of Fusilier Rigby's mother and sister," Ms Hopkins added.

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