A grandad has found himself bombarded with messages from strangers after a racist Twitter profile using his picture went viral.
Nigel Addison, 62, has been forced to call the police after a selfie he posted on Facebook was hijacked by a prankster tweeting under the name Barry Stanton.
The account, which claims to be of a dad-of-five from Blackpool, went viral after tweeting a series of provocative anti-immigration comments.
Tweets from the so-called Barry Stanton include: “Whey do black people thing comedy is just loud people shouting?” as well as supportive messages for Brexit.
Another tweet – which was liked and shared thousands of times – said: “When i go to london i want to see BRITISH people speaking ENGLISH, not f***ing Somalis speaking hijabi.”
The tweets went viral and Mr Addison from Droitwich, Worcestershire, started being mistaken online for Barry Stanton.
The former Labour councillor tried to block the rogue account but each time it was closed down a new one would pop up within minutes.
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He said another fake profile had even been set by someone using his real name, pretending to be engaging in a war of words with Barry Stanton.
Mr Addison, a retired publican and railway worker, said: “It’s very upsetting. I have no idea who this Barry Stanton is but now it’s got really personal.
“There is now an account, using my own name, posting rubbish about what I’m doing and pretending to be at war with Barry Stanton,” he said.
“Someone out there is using my name and picture to spread racist hate messages. I’m being called up and contacted from people all over the world asking if I am the real Barry Stanton.
“Some of these people are saying they agree with what I’m saying and inviting me out for beers. Others say I’m awful for trying to get Barry Stanton to stop using my picture.
“The problem is every time one of these accounts gets deleted, it’s back within minutes. It will just keep going on and on.”
Mr Addison, who has three children and ten grandchildren, said he is bombarded with online messages from strangers asking if he is behind the account.
“I must have got 30 messages the other night and it was just constant,” he said.
“It was just so overwhelming I could have cried. I was just thinking what the hell is going on?
“I just want people to know that I’m nothing like that and it’s nothing to do with me.
“I’m an ex-district councillor, I’ve not long completed a degree at the Open University and I’m definitely not a racist.”
The 62-year-old said he has even had strangers calling him asking him if he Barry Stanton.
“At first I was totally unaware what was happening and I took no notice but then when it carried on and carried on, I soon realised how bad it really is.
“Not all of them are abusive, most of them just keep asking if I’m the real Barry Stanton or saying things about Brexit and whether I’ve had a can of Carling today.”
But he said he does fear it could take a more sinister turn.
“What if somebody takes it seriously? What if I was walking down the road and somebody said I was that Barry Stanton and I was the one behind all those racist things. I could be attacked.”