A terrified couple had their home was stormed by police after vile web pranksters claimed they had kidnapped missing April Jones.
Kevin Murphy, 43, and Debbie Maidment, 45, were left shocked when officers swooped on their home last Sunday after claims on Facebook they had the Welsh schoolgirl.
The message was posted on a Facebook group on Sunday morning, which sparked a deluge of calls from concerned friends and relatives.
Then at 9.45pm that evening cops descended on their home and began to rummage through every crevice of the couple’s home.
Astonishingly they claim the hoax message is the latest attack in a five-year hate campaign orchestrated by an estranged member of Mr Murphy’s family.
Kevin and Debbie were today still trying to return to normality after they were accused of nabbing missing April – as hopes faded of finding the primary school pupil,
Mr Murphy, 43, said: “The police just went through opening cupboards, searching everything down to the smallest carrier bag.
“It would have hampered the search because they don’t need to be searching here when they could be spending time doing what they set out to do.
“How many hundreds of miles are we from Wales? I’ve never lived in Wales in my life.
“It has just been a plague of prank calls. They have put on Facebook that I’m a paedophile, I’m a rapist, that I stab people with knives.
“When the old man that went missing from a home in Canterbury was in the news, they put on Facebook that we had him and the police came and searched my house for him.”
Shockingly Mr Murphy has also been the subject of prank calls, branded a paedophile and a rapist by the internet bully.
The couple were also raided by police when an old man went missing from Canterbury and the prankster claimed they had taken him.
A friend who phoned the police to defend the couple also had their home searched by police officers looking for April.
Miss Maidment was so worried about her family’s safety that she sent her 11-year-old daughter to stay with her sister.
She said: “My neighbours are brilliant, that was my only concern – they’ve all got children themselves.”
A Kent Police spokesman said: “We are aware of a malicious hoax Facebook message claiming that missing April Jones is at an address in Kent.
“This is completely false and officers are making inquiries into the origins of this hoax.”
Mark Bridger, 46, has been remanded in custody charged with the murder of April Jones, who has not been found.