Leicester

McCann 'Twitter troll' Brenda Leyland inquest opens

Brenda Leyland Image copyright Brenda Leyland
Image caption Brenda Leyland was said to use the handle @sweepyface on Twitter

A post-mortem examination on the body of a woman accused of "trolling" the family of Madeleine McCann's parents failed to find a cause of death, an inquest has heard.

Brenda Leyland, from Leicestershire, was found dead at a hotel days after Sky News confronted her over thousands of messages posted on Twitter.

An inquest into the 63-year-old's death was told there was no foul play.

The hearing was adjourned until December.

Mrs Leyland, from Burton Overy, was confronted by a reporter last week who put to her she had posted hate-filled messages about the McCann family on Twitter using the handle @sweepyface.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Gerry McCann, with his wife Kate, previously told the BBC more needs to be done about online abuse

She did not send the messages directly to the McCanns, who have "no significant presence" on social media, but used the hashtag #mccann.

At an inquest opening at Leicester Coroner's Court, police said they were waiting for further tests to be carried out but they were not treating her death as suspicious.

Coroner Catherine Mason said: "The cause of death is still not known and police inquiries are rightly ongoing.

"Therefore with the sergeant still tasked to complete the police inquiries and the pathologist still to provide a cause of death, I am adjourning the inquest."

Madeleine McCann went missing while the Leicestershire family were on holiday in Portugal in 2007.

Last week, her father Gerry McCann, told the BBC: "Clearly something needs to be done about the abuse on the internet.

"I think we probably need more people charged."

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