When Rachel Lyne’s boiler broke down in 2007 she could have never predicted the bizarre and humiliating chain of events that was to follow.
After striking up a relationship with the charming plumber Richard Holman who came to carry out repairs, the pair dated for just four weeks before things turned sour when Rachel discovered he was married.
Rachel was branded a “homewrecker” by furious Amanda Holman, who answered her husband’s phone when Rachel called to see where he was.
Shortly after their romance was discovered, parcels containing lingerie and frumpy cardigans, started arriving at Rachel’s home and place of work.
The harassment then escalated and Rachel started seeing up to four men a day turning up at her home expecting sexual services after hundreds of fake online dating and sex profiles were set up in her name.
She says: “It’s gone on for seven years of my life. I had to move from one end of the country to another. It destroyed my relationship with my parents.
“You can imagine the humiliation and embarrassment that it has brought to my family.”
Rachel’s parents and neighbours received letters alleging Miss Lyne was a prostitute, a drug dealer and a benefit cheat and on one occasion her pet dog went missing, only to be found 400 miles away.
Furious Amanda and Richard Holman, Long Lane, Scorton, denied harassment but were convicted by the bench at Preston Magistrates’ Court.
In 2011 Rachel moved to Cornwall with her friend Stuart Walker to make a fresh start.
But in March 2012 a man came to her door believing he had been speaking to her on an online sex site. Mr Walker sent the man away but later that day trawled the internet to discover profiles had been set up in Rachel’s name on Google plus, Twitter, Jumble, Smooch.com and numerous adult and dating websites.
Scott Ainge, prosecuting, said: “She isn’t and never has been a prostitute and there is a rift between herself and her parents who believed the information they were being fed.
“People she had known for years started to avoid her in the street.
“The stress, humiliation and shame caused her to feel afraid of leaving her home as she felt people were talking about her behind her back.
“Some of the men (who visited) were aggressive and angry at having been misled. Some had travelled some distance.
“She was issued with a panic alarm and advised to wear it 24/7. She was mortified and her mental health deteriorated.”
The police were called and the profiles were traced to Mrs Holman’s IP address in Lancashire.
Rachel said: “It’s been very, very traumatic. Men were visiting the house, I was having panic attacks and anxiety issues. I’ve been registered disabled because of the impact.
“There were 157 adult websites offering my services as prostitute when I wasn’t one. I have never been a prostitute.
“She’s a coward, to do it on the internet, behind closed doors, thinking she could get away with it for this length of time.”
Mr Walker, 51, said he and his two adult disabled daughters were also subjected to malicious and vindictive harassment, which became so bad he tried to take his own life.
He said: “Picking on me is one thing, but my two disabled daughters is another thing. I was horrified.
“I don’t think the sentences are long enough for what they have put Rachel through.
“It was seven years of her life. They should have got seven years. I believe very strongly in an eye for an eye.”
Anthony Parkinson, defending, said many of the incidents took place before the period between 2012 and 2013 for which Mr and Mrs Holman had been convicted of harassing Miss Lyne and Mr Walker.
Richard and Amanda Holman, from Scorton, have been jailed for 26 weeks each after being found guilty of harassing Miss Lyne and her friend Stuart Walker.
It is understood the Holman’s intend to appeal against their conviction.