21st August 2018
Nicky Wright was convicted of stalking and sent to prison for 24 weeks after targeting online abuse campaigner Nicola Brookes, 51, from Brighton.
Between June 2016 and September last year, Wright launched a campaign of abuse in which he made sexual remarks and mocked Ms Brookes’s Crohn’s disease.
The internet stalker, who never met his victim, used 28 Twitter accounts, 25 Facebook pages and made videos about Ms Brookes on YouTube and posted her home address online..
Brighton Magistrates’ Court heard how he digitally altered pictures of her, posted hate mail and doctored her comments as he carried out the trolling from his home.
District Judge Amanda Kelly called Wright a “cowardly predator” who waged a “sinister and deeply personal campaign”.
Ms Brookes told the court she now sleeps with a knife in her bedroom and said her condition had flared up because of the “nightmare ordeal”.
In her victim impact statement, read out in court while Wright sat in the dock with his fingers in his ears, she added: “My faith in human nature has been shattered. This is the most demoralising, dehumanising experience of my entire life.”
As Wright, of Waters Road, was led away to the cells he stuck two fingers up to the court after refusing to accept his stalking conviction.
Beforehand he complained that journalists were present in court and said he did not want “certain information going everywhere online”.
Wright’s defence was he believed he was acting reasonably and it was “social media banter”.
The victim was relieved her online stalker was jailed but after the case said she was worried he would target other people in future.
She said: “I’m pleased he has been jailed but I don’t think it will stop him targeting me or someone else when he comes out.”
Despite Ms Brookes reporting the torrent of abusive posts to Facebook and Twitter, both sites continually said Wright’s actions did not breach community standards.
She believes social media needs to be policed and regulated better than it currently is.
She would sometimes send Sussex Police 150 screenshots of Wright’s abuse in a day.
The judge imposed a restraining order to stop Wright or anyone on his behalf contacting Ms Brookes by any means.