A TROLLING victim has revealed how her life was turned upside down by a man she never met.

Brighton woman Nicola Brookes, 51, was targeted from June 2016 to September last year with spiteful social media posts by Nicky Wright, who mocked her disability and made disgraceful sexual remarks about her.

Wright, 39, made 28 Twitter accounts which he would use to hound her regularly, along with numerous Facebook profiles. He would also make videos about her on YouTube, and posted her home address online.

Wright failed to turn up to his trial at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Monday, and was found guilty in his absence.

He handed himself in to police the following day and was jailed for 22 weeks for stalking and a further two weeks for failing to attend court.

Ms Brookes, a mother of one, came to Wright’s attention through her work as a campaigner against online trolling after suffering abuse years earlier.

Now Ms Brookes has spoken out about the traumatising experience.

She told The Argus: “The first emotion I felt when he was found guilty was absolute relief.

“There were some times when I had been very strong and determined to get him into court, but other times where it had a devastating impact on me.

“I was always worried Nicky Wright might turn up at my house.

“He was making all these comments about having sex with me and had shown his intent of coming to Brighton to see me. He destroyed my life.”

The Argus:

Nicky Wright's post mocking Nicola Brookes's disability

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.

After the trial, Ms Brookes said the only thing she wished could have happened was a day in court with her cyber attacker.

When that time came 24 hours later, Wright sat in the dock with his fingers in his ears as Ms Brookes’s lengthy victim impact statement was read to him, and he repeatedly looked up to the public gallery where she was sitting.

After seeing that, Ms Brookes said: “He has got absolutely no regard for authority, the law or the court. His behaviour showed that.

“It didn’t bother me that he acted like that.

“He looked like a pathetic, weak coward.

“I hope this encourages other victims of trolling to come forward.”

'Coward' troll refused to listen to the damage he caused

The Argus:

Nicky Wright

NICKY Wright was devoid of remorse as he was told he was going to prison for stalking Nicola Brookes.

The 39-year-old troll blocked out what was being said as Brighton Magistrates’ Court heard on Wednesday the harrowing impact he had on Ms Brookes.

During the sentencing he continually looked up to the public gallery where his victim was sat, and swore as he was taken out the courtroom.

District Judge Amanda Kelly, sentencing Wright, branded him a “coward” for the way he hounded Ms Brookes, 51, online, and said this attitude continued in court.

She said: “In a world of social media, much of what appears on these sorts of forums can be properly regarded as banter or fair comment.

“But in your case, I was left in no doubt that your conduct went way beyond anything that could be regarded as reasonable.”

Judge Kelly said the fact Wright, who carried out the trolling from his home in Lewisham, London, made despicable sexual remarks and mocked Ms Brookes’s Crohn’s disease with shocking images.

In one Facebook post from his page called Legal Advice London Style, Wright put a note on a disabled toilet sign reading “Brookes and bag ladies not welcome”.

Wright would bombard Ms Brookes with spiteful and persistent social media posts, firing at her from dozens of different accounts.

During the trial, held in Wright’s absence as he failed to attend, Ms Brookes said whenever she blocked her stalker he would make a new account.

She told the court she recognised the accounts were Wright because of similar phrases he would use under other pseudonyms.

The Argus:

Another of Nicky Wright's twisted posts, along with a tweet of Nicola Brookes's he edited

Some days she would send up to 150 screenshots of Wright’s abuse to police, the court heard.

Ms Brookes told the trial she was targeted by Wright and other trolls online.

Adrian Dagger, defending, said he could no longer represent Wright as he had been “professionally embarrassed”.

Wright’s defence was he believed he was acting reasonably and it was “social media banter”.

He said he has “suffered great anxiety and stress” throughout the proceedings and that his physical and mental health has been deteriorating.

He was uncovered after police seized his mobile phone and downloaded the content from it.

This revealed the abundance of social media accounts that all linked back to his device.

At his sentencing, Wright claimed he did not turn up for his trial because he overslept, but the judge thought otherwise.

She said: “I find you deliberately chose not to come to court because you lacked the courage to face your victim in the flesh.”

The judge said this case was “about as serious as it can get” and said Wright had hidden behind the anonymity of the internet to launch his “sinister and deeply personal campaign” against Ms Brookes.

In Ms Brookes’s victim impact statement, she said Wright’s hate-fuelled crusade was “psychological torture”.

She also said there is now “very little joy” in her life, and her “faith in human nature has been shattered”.

Ms Brookes added: “This is the most demoralising, dehumanising experience of my entire life.”

After the sentencing, she said: “I feel like I can finally exhale.

“I am really pleased with the sentence.”

Ms Brookes, who lives on her own, revealed she now sleeps with a knife in her bedroom out of fear somebody is going to turn up at her Brighton home.

She also stated Wright’s abuse, which went on from June 2016 to September last year, caused her Crohn’s disease to worsen during an already tough period of her life.

Wright was jailed for 22 weeks for stalking Ms Brookes and a further two weeks for failing to attend his trial. The sentences are to run consecutively.

He was also handed a restraining order preventing him from contacting Ms Brookes directly or indirectly. He must not mention her on social media either – that includes the term “Brookesy”, one of the names he would write in his posts.

Ms Brookes was delighted with the sentence and how the judge dealt with Wright.

But she believes he will come back to haunt her when he is released from prison.

She said: “I don’t think he’ll change his ways – he will move on to someone else.”