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Facebook restores profile of Jay Hayes, from Halling, after intervention by KentOnline

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The family of a father-of-two who died in a motorcycle crash say they feel "closer to him" after his Facebook profile was restored following someone allegedly hacking into it.

The sister of Jay Hayes, from Halling, contacted Facebook 20 times about the violation, but it was only made active once more after KentOnline approached the social media giant last week.

Jay Hayes with sister Tara, mum Debbie and sister Emmy
Jay Hayes with sister Tara, mum Debbie and sister Emmy

The family of the 33-year-old plumber, who grew up in West Malling, had used his profile to write messages on his timeline and tag him in posts, but these comforts were taken away from them for six months.

The account also contained pictures of Mr Hayes with his two young boys and family and friends, which were not saved anywhere else, and which loved ones could not access.

Through KentOnline, relatives appealed for the hacker to do the right thing, with younger sister Emmy Farnham saying: "We aren't expecting anyone to own up or admit it, just do the right thing."

Mr Hayes died when the Honda VFR800 he was riding crashed with a BMW in August last year, in Pembury High Street.

The 33-year-old was described by his family as "the most loyal, caring and loving person".

Jay Hayes died after a crash in Pembury in August 2020 Pic: Emmy Farnham (53330861)
Jay Hayes died after a crash in Pembury in August 2020 Pic: Emmy Farnham (53330861)

"Anyone who met him always remembered him, even right back to primary school," Miss Farnham said last year.

She realised her brother's Facebook account had been deactivated in May, after his girlfriend asked if the family had taken it down.

Miss Farnham, who had her brother's phone, tried logging into his account where the login details were saved, to be told the password was incorrect.

She then went onto his email, where she found a message saying someone had tried to access his Facebook account, and then that his password had been changed.

Another bit of correspondence showed that the address used to confirm password alterations and resets had been changed to one they did not know.

Jay Hayes with his sisters Tara and Emmy Pic: Emmy Farnham
Jay Hayes with his sisters Tara and Emmy Pic: Emmy Farnham

They are at a loss over who the hacker was, but believe it must have been someone who had Mr Hayes' original login details.

Miss Farnham tried to contact Facebook more than 20 times with her concerns, but never received a response.

KentOnline contacted the company about the issue on Friday last week, with the tech giant then getting in touch with the family for further information. The page was reactivated by Tuesday.

Miss Farnham said: "They didn’t need much and it was quite simple - so it is a little frustrating that it took so long but we appreciate them actioning it so quickly."

"We’re so happy to see his face again, it feels like we can be a tiny bit closer to him again.

"I shared the news on Facebook and so many people were over the moon for us, they’d obviously been following the story since May and felt the same as us in regards to how awful it was."

She added that she thought the page wouldn't have been restored without the help of KentOnline.

The family are now waiting for the profile to be memorialised, so no one can login, but friends and family can post memories and messages on the page.

Suzanne Gaveston, 71, of Woodsgate Way, Pembury, appeared in court in July, to deny causing the death of Mr Hayes by careless driving.

A trial date has been set for May.

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