Gang uses Facebook to crash party

LONDON - A Facebook gang describing themselves as "every parent's worst nightmare" is to blame for trashing the £1m home of Brighton advertising executive Sylvia Meli.

Meli, formerly a creative planner with agency Grey London, had her home ransacked by a mob of 400 youths on Saturday night after her daughter Georgina advertised her 16th birthday party to friends on Facebook.

The gang, who call themselves the Facebook Republican Army, regularly scour social networking sites looking for parties to crash, even hiring their own coach and driver to wreck parties across the country.

Georgina used Facebook to invite about 100 of her friends to attend her alcohol-free party, which was to be supervised by four adult friends, after Meli and her husband Michael left for the weekend.

The gang caught word of the party and used text messaging and Blackberry alerts to invite more people. Eventually 400 drunken revellers showed up, stamping soil into the carpet, damaging the garden shed and leaving cigarette burns on the furniture, causing damage estimated to exceed £5,000.

Meli and her husband were soon alerted of the ruckus by police, who took more than an hour to disperse the crowd.

Meli said: "It was an absolute horror show. I'll never have a party for my daughter here again.

"The garden's ruined, the grass is just mud, people were walking through the pond and I heard one boy was trying to head-butt the mirror."

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