A terrified couple revealed how their home was stormed by police after vile web pranksters claimed they had kidnapped 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 missing Welsh girl.

The message was posted on a Facebook group on Sunday morning, which sparked a deluge of calls from concerned friends and relatives.

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The couple were left terrified after the web prank


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 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.

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Kevin and Debbie were still trying to return to normality after they were accused of nabbing missing April


"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.

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The vile Facebook prank


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."

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Police have admitted they may not find April despite continuing to search for the five-year-old


The Facebook message is believed to have been left by an estranged female relative hiding behind a fake account using the name Danny Hanly, it emerged yesterday (Weds).

A first message read: "April is safe she is here in Sheerness with a family im from wales originally bit now living in sheerness april will be returned when the family are ready to give her back this is no lies im telling the truth april will be looked after."

The prankster then left another message on the Facebook page saying: "ok everybody april is in 43 botany close sheerness Kent happy now."

Devastated Miss Maidment said she was terrified someone might attack her house after the comments were left on Facebook.

The mother-of-two, who lives in Sheerness, Kent, said: "It was just awful.

"It is so shocking that someone could do this.

"The whole thing has been terrible. We believe it is an estranged relative of Kevin's and the police are currently looking into the matter.

"After the comments were left on Facebook by the fake account I thought someone was going to attack our house and I feared for my daughter's safety.

"But it must be even worse for the family of April. The comments would have been even more horrible for them.

"I just want the harassment to stop - it's shocking that someone is so sick in the head that they can leave messages like that."

Miss Maidment is a full time mum and Mr Murphy is a removal man.

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.

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SEE ALSO: April Jones Murder Accused Mark Bridger Appears In Court
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  • Search Continues For April Jones After Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Murder

    ABERYSTWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 08: A police officer tries to prevent a member of the public from getting at a prison van believed to contain Mark Bridger as it leaves Aberystwyth Justice Centre on October 8, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales. Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house last week in Machynlleth, Wales and Bridger was arrested last Tuesday, the day after she went missing and has been charged with her murder, abduction and perverting the course of justice. Police continue their search for the young girl. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Search Continues For April Jones After Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Murder

    ABERYSTWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 08: A member of the public approaches a prison van believed to contain Mark Bridger, to shout abuse as it leaves Aberystwyth Justice Centre on October 8, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales. Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house last week in Machynlleth, Wales and Bridger was arrested last Tuesday, the day after she went missing and has been charged with her murder, abduction and perverting the course of justice. Police continue their search for the young girl. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • April Jones missing

    A man attacks a prison van as it leaves Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court where Mark Bridger, 46, appeared today accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones.

  • April Jones missing

    A man attacks a prison van as it leaves Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court where Mark Bridger, 46, appeared today accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones.

  • Search Continues For April Jones After Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Murder

    ABERYSTWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 08: Members of the public and policemen look on as a prison van believed to contain Mark Bridger as it leaves Aberystwyth Justice Centre on October 8, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales. Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house last week in Machynlleth, Wales and Bridger was arrested last Tuesday, the day after she went missing and has been charged with her murder, abduction and perverting the course of justice. Police continue their search for the young girl. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Search Continues For April Jones After Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Murder

    ABERYSTWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 08: A prison van believed to contain Mark Bridger, who has been charged with the murder of April Jones, leaves Aberystwyth Justice Centre on October 8, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales. Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house last week in Machynlleth, Wales and Bridger was arrested last Tuesday, the day after she went missing and has been charged with her murder, abduction and perverting the course of justice. Police continue their search for the young girl. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Search Continues For April Jones After Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Murder

    ABERYSTWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 08: Media record outside Aberystwyth police station where Mark Bridger, who has been charged with the murder of April Jones, prepares to leave on October 8, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales. Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house last week in Machynlleth, Wales and Bridger was arrested last Tuesday, the day after she went missing and has been charged with her murder, abduction and perverting the course of justice. Police continue their search for the young girl. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • April Jones missing

    A prison van leaves Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court believed to be carrying Mark Bridger, 46, who appeared today accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones.

  • April Jones missing

    Members of the public wait for the van to leave outside Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court after Mark Bridger, 46, appeared today accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones.

  • April Jones missing

    A prison van leaves Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court believed to be carrying Mark Bridger, 46, who appeared today accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones.

  • April Jones missing

    ALL TV OUT. ALL TV RELATED INTERNET SITES OUT. Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Mark Bridger as he appears in the dock of Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones.

  • April Jones missing

    A prison van leaves Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court believed to be carrying Mark Bridger, 46, who appeared today accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones.

  • April Jones missing

    A Sunday church service at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth and prayers for April Jones, held by Reverand Kathleen Rogers and Bishop of Bangor Andrew John.

  • April Jones missing

    A Sunday church service at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth and prayers for April Jones, held by Reverand Kathleen Rogers and Bishop of Bangor Andrew John.

  • April Jones missing

    A Sunday church service at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth and prayers for April Jones, held by Reverand Kathleen Rogers and Bishop of Bangor Andrew John.

  • April Jones missing

    Villagers walk to Sunday church service at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth.

  • April Jones missing

    Villagers walk to Sunday church service at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth.

  • April Jones missing

    A Sunday church service at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth and prayers for April Jones, held by Reverand Kathleen Rogers and Bishop of Bangor Andrew John.

  • April Jones missing

    Forensic officers search the home of Mark Bridger - who has been arrested on suspicion of murder - as the hunt for missing April Jones resumed in Machynlleth, mid Wales.

  • April Jones missing

    Villagers walk to Sunday church service at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth.

  • April Jones missing

    BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE. Undated handout photo issued by Dyfed-Powys Police of April Jones who was abducted while out playing near her home in the Bryn Y Gog estate in Machynlleth, Mid Wales on Monday night. Issue date: Friday October 5, 2012. See PA story POLICE Missing. Photo credit should read: Dyfed-Powys Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

  • April Jones missing

    BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE. Undated handout photo issued by Dyfed-Powys Police of April Jones who was abducted while out playing near her home in the Bryn Y Gog estate in Machynlleth, Mid Wales on Monday night. Issue date: Friday October 5, 2012. See PA story POLICE Missing. Photo credit should read: Dyfed-Powys Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

  • April Jones missing

    BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE. Undated handout photo issued by Dyfed-Powys Police of April Jones who was abducted while out playing near her home in the Bryn Y Gog estate in Machynlleth, Mid Wales on Monday night. Issue date: Friday October 5, 2012. See PA story POLICE Missing. Photo credit should read: Dyfed-Powys Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    ABERYSWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 05: Mark Bridger is led from Aberyswyth police station to appear before magistrates in the town on October 5, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales . Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested the main suspect in the case, Mark Bridger, on suspicion of murder. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    ABERYSWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 05: Mark Bridger is led from Aberyswyth police station to appear before magistrates in the town on October 5, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales . Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested the main suspect in the case, Mark Bridger, on suspicion of murder. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Britain-missing-child-police

    Police search teams enter the River Dyfi near to the home of Mark Bridger near Machynlleth, mid-Wales, on October 5, 2012 as the search for missing five-year-old girl April Jones continues. A man was arrested on suspicion of the murder of a missing five-year-old girl in Wales whose disappearance has gripped Britain. Mark Bridger, 46, was held as officers stepped up their hunt for April Jones, who was last seen on Monday evening in her hometown of Machynlleth in a mountainous area, getting into a car.AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Britain-missing-child-police

    Police search teams enter the River Dyfi near to the home of Mark Bridger near Machynlleth, mid-Wales, on October 5, 2012 as the search for missing five-year-old girl April Jones continues. A man was arrested on suspicion of the murder of a missing five-year-old girl in Wales whose disappearance has gripped Britain. Mark Bridger, 46, was held as officers stepped up their hunt for April Jones, who was last seen on Monday evening in her hometown of Machynlleth in a mountainous area, getting into a car.AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 03: Canoeists search river banks close to where Mark Bridger was arrested on October 3, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 03: Canoeists search river banks close to where Mark Bridger was arrested on October 3, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 03: Police search a garden close to where Mark Bridger was arrested on October 3, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 03: Police search a garden close to where Mark Bridger was arrested on October 3, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Police search Mark Bridger's house in the village of Ceinws as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Police search Mark Bridger's house in the village of Ceinws as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Police search Mark Bridger's house in the village of Ceinws as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Britain-missing-child-police

    A police officer stands outside the last known address of Mark Bridger, the man arrested in connection with the abduction of April Jones near Machynlleth, mid-Wales, on October 4, 2012. The search for a missing five-year-old girl in a rural area of Wales was stepped up, three days after she went missing. April Jones was last seen getting into a vehicle on Monday near her home in the rural market town of Machynlleth. Rescuers appealed for volunteers with 'good local knowledge' to search 32 villages around the town as it emerged that the missing girl needs regular medication for cerebral palsy. AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Britain-missing-child-police

    A police officer stands outside the last known address of Mark Bridger, the man arrested in connection with the abduction of April Jones near Machynlleth, mid-Wales, on October 4, 2012. The search for a missing five-year-old girl in a rural area of Wales was stepped up, three days after she went missing. April Jones was last seen getting into a vehicle on Monday near her home in the rural market town of Machynlleth. Rescuers appealed for volunteers with 'good local knowledge' to search 32 villages around the town as it emerged that the missing girl needs regular medication for cerebral palsy. AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Police search Mark Bridger's house in the village of Ceinws as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    ABERYSWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 05: Mark Bridger is taken in a prison van from Aberyswyth police station to appear before magistrates in the town on October 5, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales . Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested the main suspect in the case, Mark Bridger, on suspicion of murder. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • April Jones missing

    Search and rescue teams continue their search along the banks of the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

  • April Jones missing

    Search and rescue teams continue their search on the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

  • April Jones missing

    Search and rescue teams prepare to continue their search along the banks of the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

  • April Jones missing

    Search and rescue teams continue their search on the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

  • April Jones missing

    Search and rescue teams continue their search along the banks of the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

  • April Jones missing

    Search and rescue teams continue their search on the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

  • April Jones missing

    Media satellite trucks outside the leisure centre in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, as search and rescue teams continue their search along the banks of the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

  • April Jones missing

    Search and rescue teams continue their search on the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

  • April Jones missing

    Search and rescue teams continue their search on the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Members of a mountain rescue team search the River Dyfi as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 in Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Members of a mountain rescue team search the River Dyfi as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 in Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Members of a mountain rescue team search the River Dyfi as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 in Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Members of a mountain rescue team search the River Dyfi as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 in Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)