Woman who was harassed for 13 years by online date she met just four times wins payout
Lindsey Goldrick Dean spoke on ITV's This Morning and said that she questioned whether it had been her fault for 'giving him attention he wasn't used to'
A woman who was harassed for close to 13 years by a man she went on a date with just four times has been awarded an indisclosed sum of money in damages after a landmark High Court case. Lindsey Goldrick Dean, 48, from Somerset, UK, had met Paul Curran on an online dating website in 2004. She ended the relationship, however, because she felt that it "wasn't going anywhere".
Dean, a former marketing consultant, said that Curran started by sending her threatening emails and also setting up various websites in her name in spite of the fact that he "hardly knew [her]".
In an interview with ITV's 'This Morning', Dean said that she questioned why the man had started the long campaign against her and described how she had started "making excuses for him".
She said: "He hardly knew me. I tried to determine what he was thinking, whether it was ego bruised or whether it was some attention I'd given him that he wasn't used to. Then I decided that I couldn't determine what was going through his head. I was making excuses for him."
Dean also described how the two of them had spoken for almost two weeks online before deciding to meet in person. After they went on four dates together, however, the woman decided to put an end to the relationship because she realized that there was no "connection" between them.
It was at this point in time that Curran started the "vile" campaign against the former marketing consultant which lasted almost 13 years.
She explained on the show: "I've felt very oppressed, and controlled. He was threatening in emails and phone calls. He was threatening that he would come [to my home]."
She spoke about how Curran, the director of Curran Consulting, had bought 15 website domains in her name which he then proceeded to fill with "vile" content that would show up every time someone would Google her name.
Dean said: "There were embellished emails, emails from me to him with lots of vile content attached. Pictures of my lipstick blotting and strands of my hair. That's all that would come up [if someone searched my name]. It squashed my career ambitions."
She also went on to explain how Curran would be "constantly watching" her and then updating the websites he created with major milestones in her life such as her wedding and the birth of her children.
The woman described on the show how she became "desperate" when her then 6-year-old son started Googling the family name. The authorities told her that the man could not be taken to court unless he harmed her physically but she decided to get a lawyer and take things further. She also mentioned how she had been offered a settlement agreement by Curran in return for not talking about what had happened but made the decision to reject it and take her case to the High Court.
Dean said: "I risked bankruptcy — if the court had offered me less than he had offered me, I would have to be liable for his legal costs too. I really had to take it further. I had to help others, and set legal precedent." The woman had revealed that she is now finally able to move on with life after she was awarded damages as well as getting a court injunction against Curran. She said: "For the first time since 2004, I'm enjoying summer joyously. I'm looking for new challenges and opportunities now."
Curran has since apologized for his atrocious behavior in a statement in court that read: "I wish to apologize to the claimant for the matters that have given rise to this claim. Whilst I do not accept all of the allegations levied against me, the majority of them are not disputed. I am ashamed of my past behavior and disappointed by my lack of judgment over a period of time. I recognize that my actions have caused the claimant considerable upset. I very much regret this and have given my assurances to the claimant that there will be no repetition of the conduct complained of."