Lindsey Goldrick Dean met Paul Curran through an online dating site.
After a few dates, she ended the relationship ... and entered a 13 year nightmare.
Trolling victim Lindsey Goldrick Dean was tormented through dozens of fake websites and social media accounts by a businessman she met on an online dating site. pic.twitter.com/WgUS47rdCB
— This Morning (@thismorning) July 31, 2018
As the Sun reports, the 48-year-old mom from Somerset, England became the target of a sustained campaign of harassment from Curran — both online and off. Curran would send threatening messages to Goldrick Dean and her family. She told the Sun:
“He was threatening in emails and phone calls. There was lots of vile content attached to the emails, there were pictures of my lipstick blotting and strands of my hair.”
Goldrick Dean doesn't know how Curran got hold of her hair and lipstick blottings, but thinks he must have stolen them from her trash can and pulled the hair from her brush.
Online, Curran set up a series of websites in Goldrick Dean's name, all dedicated to reporting on her in a negative way. Goldrick Dean said Curran would update the websites to reflect changes in her life — like her marriage and the birth of a child. She told This Morning:
“He bought at least 15 websites. He bought my name under every ... so LindseyGoldrick.com, .co.uk, .net, .org, dot-everything. And then it was NastyLyingPieceofWork-LindsyeGoldrick.com, and it went on and on.”
According to the Somerset County Gazette, Curran also publicized the websites. He would ensure that her family and friends knew about the sites, and in 2014 purchased a Google banner ad with Goldrick Dean's photo and a link to one of the websites. He even created fake Twitter accounts in her name and linked them to the websites.
This meant that any search for Goldrick Dean online would bring up Curran's series of websites. Goldrick Dean told This Morning that it made it difficult to look for a job, as any potential employer would find the sites and ask about them in an interview. She added that, “it squashed my ambition.”
Though she made multiple complaints to the police about Curran, he was often out of the country, making it difficult for the police to arrest him.
Goldrick Dean finally took Curran to court and won an undisclosed judgment against him for his campaign of harassment. She said that the costs of the court battle nearly bankrupted her, but hopes the precedent will help others. As she told the Sun, she can now relax for the first time in 13 years:
“I’m enjoying the summer for the first time since 2004 joyously… and I’m writing about it and I hope to help anti cyber-bullying campaigns and I’m looking for new challenges and opportunities now.”