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Internet hoaxer made my life a misery; How Pete Price fell victim to 'wicked' imposter who ran foul-mouthed blogs.

Byline: TINA MILES

RADIO DJ Pete Price today told how an internet imposter made the past year of his life "a misery".

The ECHO columnist was furious when he discovered two fake blogs had been set up in his name to bad-mouth some of Liverpool's leading figures.

Pete, who lives in Wirral, refered the matter to Merseyside Police and the force's Hi-Tech Crime Unit launched an investigation.

Officers later swooped at an address in Liverpool where they seized the computer equipment and cautioned the blogger.

Today the veteran talk show host claimed he was even threatened by strangers as a result of the blogger's foul-mouthed rant.

He said: "It's made me very angry somebody would create something like this. My name was being used for the blog and they started saying the most dreadful things about my friends.

"Word started to get around town about the blog and I got Google to close it down. But then it came back up again and it was more vicious than ever.

"It was wicked. I was very distressed because my friends were starting to say 'Is it Pricey?' It came to a head when a jewellers was slagged off and they asked what they had ever done to Pete Price.

"There was also an occasion when a stranger came up to me and threatened me at Aintree Racecourse because of something that was written about their friend. It was getting out of hand. It was horrendous. I didn't know when it was going to end."

The 64-year-old said: "This is a different world to anything I'm used to.

"I think the internet is out of control. How dare anyone use my name to disparage people I love and care for.

"I've had many sleepless nights over this as have some of the people who have been mentioned in it."

"The police were fantastic. Apparently he had a bee in his bonnet about the Capital of Culture and used the blog and my name to vent his anger."

A spokeswoman for Merseyside Police confirmed they had cautioned the man responsible for both blogs.

She said: "Sites like this can cause a lot of distress to the victims.

"Merseyside Police carried out a thorough investigation and equipment was taken from a property in Liverpool.

"A 25-year-old man was questioned and cautioned."

Pete has since received a letter of apology from the 25-year-old, who was living in Southport when he set up the blog and has since moved to Liverpool.

The letter said: "I was unaware to the extent to which the blog had caused and the grief it has created to yourself and those mentioned within the blog.

"I am not proud of my actions, and did come to realise enough is enough, therefore stopped doing it many months ago.

"Originally it was to vent my anger at certain people (those mentioned) and by posing as yourself would cause publicity. The power of the internet is immense and it got blown into massive proportions.

"I do deeply regret doing the blog, and I promise that I will never do anything like this again."

The original blog, The Secret Diary of Pete Price, was closed down but the second is still active.

A spokeswoman for Google said they do not comment on specific blogs but would need a court order to remove the content.

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DISTRESSED: Pete Price in the studio SLEEPLESS NIGHTS: Pete Price
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 15, 2010
Words:571
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