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Monday, 09 July 2018

Woman secures damages following 12-year campaign of harassment

Written by Jan Colley

A woman is to receive damages from the man who harassed her for 12 years after they met through an online dating website.

Paul Curran's campaign against former marketing consultant Lindsey Goldrick Dean caused her "enormous anxiety, mental distress and embarrassment", said counsel Gervase de Wilde in London on Monday.

It had adversely affected her health, her relationships with her family and friends, and damaged her professional career.

Mr de Wilde told Mr Justice Nicol that Mr Curran, director of Curran Consulting Ltd, had agreed to pay damages to Ms Goldrick Dean (pictured) and her legal costs.

He referred to a statement in which Mr Curran, who was not in court, said: "I wish to apologise 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 behaviour and disappointed by my lack of judgement over a period of time.

"I recognise 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."

Mr de Wilde told the judge that Ms Goldrick Dean met Mr Curran through the Guardian's Soulmates website in October 2004 and they were in a relationship until she ended it in February 2005.

"From about March 2005 until the start of these proceedings in August 2017, the defendants (Mr Curran and his company) engaged in a course of conduct against the claimant which amounted to civil harassment, the tort of misuse of private information and breach of confidence.

"Throughout this period, the defendants' unlawful conduct was carried out primarily by means of designing, registering, creating, publishing, owning, maintaining, updating, administering and controlling at least 10 websites, some of which were named after the claimant and all of which contained materials about or relating to the claimant, including a mixture of offensive, private and/or confidential information.

"Neither defendant sought the claimant's consent to any of this activity, nor would she have given her consent had it been sought."

He said that on a number of occasions between March 2005 and June 2005, Mr Curran emailed, telephoned and/or sent post to Ms Goldrick Dean, despite her repeated requests to him to stop.

During the same period, he used similar methods to make contact with members of her family, as well as several of her friends and acquaintances, to bring the websites to their attention.

In 2014, Mr Curran and his company bought a Google banner advertisement which included a photo of Ms Goldrick Dean and a link to one of the websites and, in 2015, he created two user accounts on Twitter, using her name, to which he posted messages containing her photo and a website link.

Mr de Wilde said that the campaign continued despite Ms Goldrick Dean complaining to the police on several occasions.

The police made plans to arrest Mr Curran but found that he was living outside the UK much of the time.

After the hearing, Ms Goldrick Dean, who is in her 40s and from Somerset, said: "It feels like a big day.

"I'm just so glad it's all over.

"I hope to give hope to other people because there is help out there."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Jan Colley / PA Wire.