Published: 00:00, 14 July 2016
| Updated: 09:21, 14 July 2016
A woman who sent "vile and disgusting" messages to the mother of tragic Jamie Bulger was today jailed for three years.
Disturbed performing arts student Chloe Cowan, 20, taunted Denise Fergus by posing as one of her son’s killers.
A judge told Cowan she had shown "a level of cruelty which was truly breathtaking” – and had brought great distress to Mrs Fergus and her family.
Shockingly, when police raided Cowan’s home at the time in Margate they discovered on her computer pictures of dead and mutilated babies and a photograph of Jamie Bulger’s grave.
Canterbury Crown Court was told officers also found pictures of Jamie being led away by his killers and a photograph of Mrs Fergus with a hangman’s noose around her neck.
Cowan had a macabre interest in child deaths, child rape, serial killers, and Myra Hindley, Maxine Carr, Ian Huntley and Rose West.
Judge Adele Williams told her: “Your offence involved sending the most vile and degrading messages via Twitter to Denise Fergus.”
Cowan, who sobbed throughout the hour-long hearing, created accounts in the names of ‘Bulger’s Ghost’ and ‘John Venables’- one of Jamie’s killers.
The judge added: “In my judgement you have shown no true remorse and no insight into your offending.
“This is maybe because you cannot show true remorse or insight.”
A psychiatric report revealed that Cowan, now of Chichester Road, Ramsgate, was suffering from “emotionally unstable personality disorder”.
But the judge said: “The messages were designed to cause - and did cause - the maximum distress and torment to Mrs Fergus.
“I am in no doubt that you believed that you would not be identified as the person responsible. When you were caught you tried to lie your way out of it.”
She added that Cowan had sent the tweets “in order to gain some fleeting relief from your own problems and from your dissatisfaction with your way of life”.
“But I believe you also sent them to gain some sadistic pleasure in the thought of someone else being caused this distress and anguish.”
A victim impact statement made by Mrs Fergus – who had been expected to attend the hearing – was given to the judge.
Judge Williams added: “In it she explains she has at times felt unable to leave her house and has locked herself away in her own bedroom.”
Prosecuting, Peter Forbes revealed how Cowan had created an alter-ego in the name of Farina La Rose, with her own date of birth and claiming to be a child murderer.
“She created another called Life Of LaRose receiving texts in which she said she got goosebumps from lifeless infants and on that internet site were pictures of children on train tracks.”
Cowan pleaded guilty to a stalking offence under Section 4 of the 1997 Protection Of Harassment Act of causing Mrs Fergus “serious alarm” which had “an adverse effect on her usual day-to-day activities” on November 9.
The offensive Twitter messages were sent between February 1 and May 31 2014 and were “particularly cruel," the prosecutor added.
One of them – in which Mrs Fergus was tagged – read: “The anniversary of my death is like a giant pigeon forever crapping on your heart.”
Another said: “You all know who I am, the lad who abused Jamie Bulger, hahaha.”
And another, in the name of the account: JustVenables, is too offensive to be published.
Mrs Fergus told police she thought the messages were disgusting and added: “You can’t keep targeting me like this... this just brings it all back and is mocking Jamie’s death.
“This is mental cruelty and you shouldn’t be able to write this and get away with it. It is just pure cruel.”
Andrew Espley, defending, said that as a result of what Cowan did she had received numerous death threats
Cowan was also given a 10-year ban from contacting Mrs Fergus or her family.
After the hearing, Mrs Fergus tweeted: "Well that was some unexpected news #troll".