WHITEHAVEN businessman Gerard Richardson has opened up about being a regular target for 'silly and petty' cyber-bullies

Owner of Richardson's Wine and Coffee Merchants, Mr Richardson has volunteered for over two decades organising numerous festivals and events for the public. 

This week he helped to organise a Science Show for school children which has lead to him receiving abusive comments Facebook. 

Gerard recently announced that he has been diagnosed with cancer and he and his family are still coming to terms with this, making the abuse he is facing ever more distressing. 

He is being frequently 'trolled' this past week despite asking for people to stop. 

READ MORE: Gerard Richardson urges people to see doctor after being diagnosed with cancer

Mr Richardson said: "What has happened last night is a repeat of what's been going on for twenty five years, it's silly and petty and it's what I'd call cyber bullying. 

"Sadly it seems to be being done by some locals, I've been accused of being a coward and for promoting the wrong values. 

"Over the years I've been volunteering to organise events for the town and we've been doing this in addition to running the business. 

"I've always tried to be active in the area and do things for the community and the reward I've got has been everything from vandalism and assault. The online abuse has been horrendous." 

"I shouldn't have to put up with this and my worry for the future is that volunteers are going to be harder to find." 

READ MORE: Port of call - Richardsons of Whitehaven makes passion a business

"I've always said that if someone has a complaint about anything that we're doing or wants to voice an opinion give me a shout or come into the shop and we can talk it over. 

"But I'd just say not to go on the attack online as the way things went this week has been crazy.

"My Facebook page is a fan page for the shop but I also use it to promote Whitehaven, I'd ask anyone who isn't interested in what we're doing to avoid using the page."