Man jailed after falsely accusing Tom Fletcher and other stars of child abuse

Leo Darcey, 30, has been jailed for a year after he sent abusive and disturbing messages to various celebrities including Tom Fletcher.

Darcey, also known as Robert Heywood, pleaded guilty to sending malicious communication and harassment.

McFly's Tom Fletcher and actors Scott Paige, Robert Houchen, Cameron Blakely and his ex-wife Bethan were all targeted, as well as a businessman from Essex.

Reports from Manchester Evening News state that Minshull Street Crown Court heard that Tom Fletcher first thought he was receiving fan mail from Darcey.

It was stated that the letter referred to his three children and contained three photos of them, accusing Tom of being a paedophile.

He said it was "the most disturbing thing he had ever read".

Letters of accusations relating to paedophilia also were delivered to a businessman in Essex, Mr Blakely and Mr Paige.

The court heard that Mr Paige received letters stating his family should "burn in hell" as well as toenail clippings.

It was reported that posters were also put up in a pub which showed photos of Mr Paige from his Instagram account on a poster which claimed he was "sick and ill".

The poster said he had an OnlyFans account showing him having sex with older men and promoting young teenage boys to do so.

In his victim statement, Mr Paige said he was left "terrified" and scared for the safety of his family, adding that he also had sleepless nights.

Mr Blakely and his ex-wife Bethan received numerous letters of accusations that he had "raped his own daughter".

Threats were made stating that Mr Blakely needed to "suffer" and that the writer "looks forward to killing him and ending his life", Manchester Evening News reported.

Darcey was arrested and interviewed and told officers how he had changed his name from Robert Heywood to a French name in a bid to be "extravagant", but then to Leo Darcey.

Barrister Matthew Curtis said his client is diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and his mental health was exacerbated by the coronavirus lockdown.

Darcey pleaded guilty to sending malicious communication and harassment.

Judge John Potter said: “You conducted what can only be described as a sustained and vicious campaign of hatred towards several individuals and others close to them.

“Some of them obtained a degree of celebrity, other victims were employed as a teacher and businessman.

“All of them have been profoundly affected by your behaviour. All were wholly innocent victims of your grossly offensive and abusive behaviour.”

Darcey has been handed an indefinite restraining order, banning him from contacting all the victims.

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