23/09/2011 06:44 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Madeleine McCann Internet Troll Issues Grovelling Apology To Family

Madeleine McCann's mother Kate McCann looks at a poster of her daughter PA

An internet 'troll' who set up a sickening 'joke' Facebook page about missing Madeleine McCann has written a letter to her parents begging for their forgiveness.

Jack Tims - a 17-year-old student from Herne Bay in Kent - claims he started the vile page on Facebook as a prank which then got out of hand.

Tims' "If I Get 1 million Likes I'll Let Maddie Go" Facebook profile was revealed by The Sun as part of their Target a Troll campaign against bullies on the internet.

The teenager says he had no intention to hurt Kate and Gerry McCann - whose daughter disappeared from their holiday flat in Portugal in 2007 - and did not expect the page to cause so much revulsion.

He told The Sun that he had created it after: 'chatting to a friend about jokes comedians come out with' but admitted that being named and shamed in the paper made him realise 'how much I distressed people.' He then claimed to have 'received threats' and that his actions could 'cost me friends'.

In an open letter to the McCanns, Tims says he is 'truly sorry' and that he now realises 'how stupid and naive I was, and wish I could turn back the clock.'

We bet he does...

Do you think Facebook should crack down more on vile groups and pages like this?
Is it too easy for idiots to set them up?