Brenda Leyland, the woman accused of
targeting the parents of missing
Madeleine McCann in abusive Twitter
messages, has been found dead in a
Leicestershire hotel room.
The body of the 63-year-old, of Burton
Overy, was discovered yesterday
afternoon, at the Marriott Hotel, in
A spokesman said: "Police were called at
1.45pm on Saturday, October 4, to a
report of a body of a woman in a hotel
room in Smith Way, Grove Park, in
"Officers have attended the scene and a
file is being prepared for the coroner.
Identification of the deceased is a
matter for the coroner.
"The death is not being treated as
A spokeswoman for the Marriott said: "We
are very sad to confirm the death of a
guest at the Leicester Marriott Hotel
and our thoughts go out to the family
and friends of the deceased.
"As this is a police matter and an
investigation is underway, we are unable
to comment further and enquiries should
be directed to the police."
Her death comes after Ms Leyland was
confronted by Sky News, which claimed
she was one of dozens of so-called
trolls - people who post abusive
messages online - targeting Kate and
Gerry McCann, of Rothley.
On Thursday, Sky News reporter Martin
Brunt visited Ms Leyland’s home and
asked her why she was using her Twitter
account to attack the McCanns.
The conversation was caught on camera,
with Ms Leyland, who apparently used the
identity Sweepyface on the social
networking website, replying: “I’m
Mr Brunt was then filmed telling Ms
Leyland that she had been reported to
the police, and that Scotland Yard was
investigating a dossier of Twitter
accounts which had apparently shown
abuse against the McCanns.
Ms Leyland, who is believed to be a
mother-of-two and who has lived in the
village for around 15 years, replied:
“That’s fair enough."
Following the accusations, neighbours
said they believed Ms Leyland had "fled"
A resident, who did not want to be
named, told the Mercury on Friday:
"Somebody took a photo of her on
Thursday afternoon and then she was
“I haven’t seen her since.”
Ms Leyland's Twitter account was deleted
Metropolitan Police have confirmed that
they are examining a number of trolls
who have posted threatening messages
online about Madeleine McCann, who
disappeared while on a family holiday in
Portugal, in May, 2007, and targeted at
Police received a “letter and
documentation” last month containing a
list of the online abuse.
They are investigating a series of
messages, written on Twitter, Facebook,
message boards and forums.
The dossier is reported to have been 80
pages long, and to stem back over the
past seven years.
It was compiled by members of the public
concerned about the abuse.