Dad offering £5k reward to find accuser after fake paedo claim ruined life

A dad is offering a £5,000 reward to anyone who can tell him who the mystery account holder is behind a Facebook post that he claims incorrectly labelled him a paedophile.

Matthew Mellor-Smith, 35, claims his life has been torn apart following the claims, having lost £40,000 in income, received death threats and even been attacked.

The father-of-two desperately wants the Facebook post taken down and the accuser found out so that he can "prosecute them and sue them for defamation of character".

Matthew says neither West Yorkshire Police nor Facebook have been helpful.

The builder said: “I'm starting a government petition to get new laws in place so this cannot happen. My business is ruined and my reputation is ruined. Facebook won't remove it. This is unacceptable and a reason why some people take their own lives.

"I will give anyone £5,000 if they can tell me who the fake account is. I want to know who it is. I want to prosecute them and sue them for defamation of character.”

He says the suspected fake account has been wreaking havoc in his life ever since he was featured in a Yorkshire Live news article about the fuel crisis in September last year.

Following the story, the builder says the account posted comments accusing someone matching his description – beard and owning a white van – and living on his street of trying to ‘pick up’ her 13-year-old daughter.

He said this led to thugs attacking him and throwing bricks at his van.

Matthew said: “Literally I’ve got to watch my back. When that post was put up, someone had started attacking my van, they were throwing bricks at it, whack me with bits of wood.”

More recently, life became a whole lot worse for Matthew when the account posted his photograph.

The post labelled him a "pervert" and accused him of attempting to "pick up 13 year old daughter".

He said: “When I reported it to the police, they didn’t do owt – same as always. I reported this post to Facebook and they say it doesn’t go against their community guidelines. It’s disgusting.

“I haven’t been able to think straight since I saw it. Before it only a lasted an amount of days and it was done.

"The fact it’s come back this time with an actual picture of me and people commenting on it, saying it’s me is a different ball game. It’s more a case of ‘you’re guilty until proven innocent’.”

Matthew is sure the account is a fake, as he says the cover photo, featuring people in a silhouette, is a stock photo which he found in a reverse Google image search.

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He has also doubted whether a real account would feature a picture with the face hidden and the only posts on the account made public are seemingly targeted at Matthew and don't provide any evidence to back up the claims.

The 35-year-old said: “I can’t go anywhere. When I’ve been driving around locally, I’ve got people doing stuff. Two guys jumped out of a car park and next thing half of the pub circled my van, telling me I’m a f***ing paedo.

“I went from having seven months’ worth of work to a couple of weeks. I lost about £40,000. It’s been quite scary to think about – what am I going to do?!”

He’s also been receiving death threats online, with one reading: "YOU ARE DISGUSTING SCUM AND YOU DESERVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. YOU’RE DEAD."

Matthew says his children, five and seven, are too young to understand what is going on and haven’t been made aware of the post.

The post had been shared to his school’s Facebook group however, so the builder has been avoiding the school as he doesn’t want to get into an unnecessary confrontation.

A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police said: “This matter involving allegations made on social media has been investigated by West Yorkshire Police and has been passed to another force to carry out further enquiries.”

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