Kate McCann, the mother of missing Madeleine McCann, has endured vile online abuse from an internet troll who made gun-related threats towards her.
Using a woman's name, the poster joined in a Facebook conversation about Kate's forthcoming London marathon run.
As members of the sick group shared threats to sabotage Dr McCann's race, the 'woman' wrote: "Well I am going. Anyone got a gun? BBBanggggg!"
Other disgusting messages included the suggestion that people lining the streets to watch the event should wear masks depicting Madeleine's face.
The owner of the page claimed to be allowing the messages to show how 'depraved' posters were. The anonymous Facebook user wrote: "Watching over the diseased and perverted minds of those who troll and attack the family of missing Madeleine McCann, I in no way endorse what these vile people are doing and saying. I am showing how depraved they are."
Kate was reportedly told about the threat, but will still be competing in the 26-mile run in April to raise funds for the Missing People charity, for which she has already been pledged £8,000 in sponsorship.
Security around her appearance may now be reviewed by marathon organisers and the police because of the messages. Scotland Yard detectives are said to have been made aware of the posts, and were running computer checks to identify of the gun-threat troll.
The McCanns' family spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said the vile messages were not a one-off.
"There is constant activity by these ghouls," he said. "This material has been brought to the attention of the police. It is a disgrace that people can say such things around an event which is designed to help others."
He added that the abuse was 'very hard to stop' as the perpetrators 'hide away' behind their computer screens.
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