Probe into Twitter trolls continues

Coun Gareth Fairhurst

Coun Gareth Fairhurst

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A POLICE investigation into two malicious social media accounts used to target a Wigan councillor continues to progress.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) launched the probe last week after the parody accounts aimed at Coun Gareth Fairhurst posted defamatory and deeply offensive material.

These account details are now in the hands of the Police, who are now investigating these vile and criminal statements about myself

Coun Gareth Fairhurst

A spokesman for GMP said today that officers are still gathering evidence and statements about the social media accounts.

Since the investigation started, Twitter officials closed both accounts but one has since reopened but changed its name and made its posts private.

The material posted throughout last week - in addition to being false - was aimed at undermining the elected representative and insulted his family.

Coun Fairhurst, who is the leader of the Standish Independents on Wigan Council, earlier this week thanked those residents who had offered him support.

Posting on his blog: “These account details are now in the hands of the Police, who are now investigating these vile and criminal statements about myself.

“I have complete faith at the moment in the Police finding these people through the various methods and they are taking this very seriously indeed.”

Coun Fairhurst’s wife Debbie and father George are also councillors representing Standish ward.

The accounts are being investigated under the Malicious Communication Act which means, if convicted, those responsible could face a jail term of up to six months if the posts are deemed to have been “indecent or grossly offensive.”