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Monday, 01 September 2014

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Police probe Carlisle woman's claim internet bullies forced her out of business

A young mum who turned her love of cake baking into a thriving business says she has been forced to close it by cyber bullies.

Emma Barnes photo
Emma Barnes

Cumbria police confirmed that officers are investigating allegations involving emails sent to Emma Barnes, 29.

The mum-of-two, who has run her BabyCakes business on Facebook from her home in Morton, said she found the cake-baking community “too cruel” and decided to close from October after fulfilling existing orders.

Her elaborate home-baked and decorated cakes for occasions such as weddings, birthdays and christenings have become hugely popular.

Emma said: “Unfortunately, after much deliberation and painful soul-searching, I am sad to say I am closing BabyCakes in October.”

Thanking her customers, she added: “I have found the cake community far too cruel an environment to work in (and I have worked in marketing with chief executive officers and lawyers for 10 years – not a patch on them).”

Emma declined to comment in detail about the case but told the News & Star she had been getting anonymous emails.

“It’s now in the hands of the police,” she said.

“This was never just a business for me. It was something my grandparents instilled in me from childhood, to be creative, and BabyCakes is now a really good brand.”

She said baking was a hobby which she turned into a business after being made redundant so she could stay at home with her children.

“It’s been a lifesaver for us,” she said. “But I’m not strong enough to cope with the bullying aspect. It reminds me of being in high school.”

On her Facebook page, dozens of Emma’s fans have posted support messages, many pleading with her to reconsider her decision.

They urged her not to give in to bullies and said she had “an amazing talent”

“Don’t let what has happened take away from the amazing work you did,” was one of the comments.

“Your business has done so well and you should be so proud at what you achieved.”

“This is very sad and incredibly disturbing to read. It’s dire that you feel there is no other way out apart from closing your wonderful business.”

A spokeswoman for Cumbria police confirmed that officers were investigating.

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