Man wrongly accused of being a paedophile by vigilante lost his job and was threatened by online trolls who said they’d throw acid over his girlfriend and rape his cat
- Paul Farhad, 42, was accused of grooming teenagers by a ‘paedophile hunter’
- Innocent Mr Farhad watched his life fall apart as online trolls attacked him
- His girlfriend and his cat were threatened in sick posts and he was sacked
- Courts jailed his accuser Stephen Dure who ‘thought he was untouchable’
Paul Farhad, from Eastleigh, Hampshire lost his job and his home was attacked after he was wrongly accused of ‘grooming’
A man who was falsely accused of being a paedophile has opened up about how the online witch hunt against him destroyed his life as he lost his job, and friends.
Trolls threatened to attack Paul Farhad’s girlfriend and even rape his cat after the 42-year-old was accused of ‘grooming’ youngsters.
Mr Farhad from Eastleigh was the victim of a false allegation which was viewed by thousands of people over Facebook. His home was spray painted and a brick was thrown through his window – despite him being innocent.
The vicious rumour was started by self-styled paedophile hunter Stephen Dure.
Dure apparently hit out in retaliation to a remark Paul posted online about the paedophile hunter’s sister.
Mr Farhad told Sun Online: ‘I was furious, I couldn’t comprehend it.
‘He kept all the people on there who were making it worse.
‘I saw some of the comments and people [colleagues] said ‘I wondered why he was always quiet’ – I was just getting on with my job.
The post which falsely accused Mr Farhad landed Stephen Dure in jail while his victim was trolled online by vicious posters who threatened his family
‘My girlfriend was really scared, someone said they were going to throw acid in her face. They were saying ‘let’s kills his cat’, they had pictures of my cat, saying ‘let’s rape his cat’.
‘I thought ‘you’re talking about raping my cat on a site on people grooming children, you’re talking like a rapist yourself’.’
Stephen Dure, 34, claimed Paul Farhed, 42, (pictured) was ‘psychopath’ who ‘grooms teens’ Dure, from Southampton was jailed for 15 weeks
Stephen Dure, 34, who carried out sting operations against alleged offenders was jailed for 15 weeks after falsely claiming Paul groomed teenagers
Dure was jailed for 15 weeks by District Judge Lorraine Morgan in September for the false accusations.
Self-styled vigilante Stephen Dure wrongly claimed on the social media site Paul Farhad was a ‘violent psychopath’ who ‘grooms teenagers’.
Dure, 34, runs TRAP, an online group which uses sting operations to catch alleged paedophiles trying to meet up with underage children – and sometimes posed as kids on the internet in a bid to catch the sex offenders.
His Facebook page has around 230,000 followers and videos showing him confronting sex offenders have been watched millions of times.
A court heard Dure’s post spuriously accusing Mr Farhad, 42, of being a paedophile had been viewed by 111,000 people.
Mr Farhad said the inaccurate post, which also claimed he was a ‘massive danger’ to society, caused him to lose his job and as a result he lost earnings.
Southampton Magistrates’ Court, in Hampshire, also heard that after the outrageous claim he was threatened in the street, a brick was thrown through his window and paint was sprayed on his door.
Mr Farhad said he has lost friends of more than 20 years as his life fell apart before his eyes.
He added: ‘You can’t accuse someone unless you have proof of something like this.
”He had no intention of pleading guilty. He thought he was untouchable.’