TikTok sleuth 'made an anonymous donation to Nicola Bulley's family'
TikTok sleuth who filmed Nicola Bulley’s body being pulled from a river announces to followers on social media he has made an ‘anonymous’ donation to her family
- Curtis Arnold, 34, said he had made the donation to late mother-of-two’s family
- The TikTok sleuth defended posting videos about investigation on his accounts
A TikTok sleuth who filmed Nicola Bulley’s body being pulled from a river has claimed he has made an ‘anonymous’ donation to her family.
Curtis Arnold, 34, of Kidderminster, Worcestershire, said he had made a donation ‘five times the amount’ his clip made in royalties to the late mother-of-two’s family to apologise for his actions.
However, he refused to disclose the exact amount of the ‘anonymous donation’ and has still not removed the offending footage from his YouTube channel.
The amateur journalist managed to barge his way into the official press area and duped police officers on the day Ms Bulley’s body was found before posting the distasteful content to his online accounts.
The 45-year-old mortgage adviser had been missing for 23 days before her body was discovered in the River Wyre, Lancashire, last Sunday.
Curtis Arnold, 34, covertly filmed Nicola Bulley’s body being lifted from the river. Arnold has revealed the lengths to which he and others will go to achieve their ends
Police confirmed yesterday a body found in the River Wyre was that of the missing mother-of-two Nicola Bulley, 45
On his several ‘Curtis Media’ social media channels, he defended his actions, saying he was offering ‘media and journalism done differently’ to ‘help get justice for those who can’t’.
In his latest video offering explaining the controversial clip, he says: ‘Safe to say I’ve learned my lesson maybe on a video like that but at the same time there are a lot of people saying that the video is helpful to highlight the police not really doing what they should be doing.’
He says that he has taken the video off TikTok and Facebook – but makes no mention of his YouTube channel.
He previously gleefully revealed the £716.06 in royalties that he had made from YouTube alone covering the case, adding: ‘It is probably £900 by now but it takes a while to come through.
Ribbons left on a bench in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire, for Nicola Bulley, 45, who was last seen on Friday, January 27, before her body was found in the river 23 days later
‘My ambition is to be a full-time YouTuber and make a good living from it. The income potential is there and I love doing what I am doing on the channel.’
In his apology, Arnold said: ‘In hindsight, perhaps it was a little bit sensitive, perhaps it was bad timing to put that video online as an individual journalist for YouTube rather than mainstream media.
‘Perhaps I didn’t take into account the family at that time – I admit that. I’d like to take this opportunity to apologise to the family for any upset caused by the videos.
‘Paul Ansell if you’re watching this I hope it hasn’t offended you too much and I wish you well with moving forward.’
READ MORE: Unmasked: The TikTok ghoul who covertly filmed Nicola Bulley’s body being lifted from the river
The muscle-bound powerlifter makes regular six-hour round trips from his Worcestershire home to St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire and films with a GoPro camera strapped to his chest.
He has headlined a string of videos with outrageous smears against Mr Ansell and filmed a ‘possible burial site’ in woodland near where Nicola was last seen on January 27.
The hairdresser’s most controversial video also showed an ashen faced couple in shock after finding Nicola’s body in reeds by the River Wyre on February 19.
He admits that he was lying when he told a police officer that he was returning to his parked car after a ‘walk in the countryside’ and claimed to another that he was from Blackpool.
At some stage after tricking his way past the police road blocks, Arnold crouched in a field to film covertly on his Samsung S21 smartphone.
He recalled: ‘I held the phone as high above me as I could, resting it on fencing.
‘I couldn’t see a thing but I knew my camera would be recording whatever was happening. It wasn’t until I got back to where the mainstream media were gathered that I realised what was on the footage.’
He then put the video online, where it went viral and was viewed almost a million times.
Mr Arnold had hidden his identity; was careful not to appear on camera; and sometimes used a picture of Mr Ansell as his profile image.
It comes after the Sun reported that Arnold is a ‘narcissistic’ and ‘manipulative’ trickster with a number of previous criminal convictions – including drink driving, burglary and fraud.
His most recent criminal conviction is said to have come for a fraud charge in 2018, for which he served a custodial sentence, while his criminality stretches back to when he was in his 20s.
Arnold duped a police officer into letting him continue walking along a road close to where Ms Bulley’s body was found
Arnold also reportedly posed as a fitness modelling agent and visited a number of gyms across London under the guise of being on the search for female models to promote a range of leggings.
Instead, though, he is said to have taken a number of sexualised photos and videos before sharing them on social media without permission to promote his own fitness products.
Arnold reportedly served his sentence at HMP Wormwood Scrubs following a conviction for fraud by false representation, where he was said to have been unpopular with staff.
READ MORE: ‘Rest in peace Nikki’: Hundreds gather at candlelit vigil for Nicola Bulley in her home town and pay tribute to mother-of-two who ‘touched hearts in every possible way’
A prison source told The Sun: ‘He was a very narcissistic, manipulative individual and would regularly try to manipulate female staff, especially education staff.
‘He was slimy and would tell them they were beautiful or he preferred them over another officer.
‘He would say very inappropriate things and would ask for their mobile numbers and ask to see them outside of the prison.
‘But when he started asking female staff to smuggle in phones and drugs for him, it all went down on his report.’
Since Ms Bulley vanished while working her dog along the river near St Michael’s on Wyre Friday, January 27, her case has attracted huge attention.
Locals have slammed ‘ghouls’ and amateur social media sleuths who have descended on the small Lancashire village where she went missing to investigate the case themselves.
Social media platform TikTok has been awash with videos speculating about her disappearance – including speculation, rumours and conspiracy theories.
Experts say that social media algorithms encourage and reward controversial content like Arnold’s.
There have been 400 million views on TikTok alone of videos with the hashtag ‘NicolaBulley’.
They include over half a million views of 26-year-old ‘psychic’ Lucy Hesford-Buckingham, from Wales, sharing her vision on the case before Nicola’s body was found.
In her video, she claimed that she sensed intuitively from an ‘overwhelming smell of lemon bleach’ that Nicola was still alive but being held captive and in ‘severe danger’.
So many sleuths descended on St Michael’s on Wyre that, at one point, police had to issue a 48-hour dispersal order to clear the village of outsiders.
TikTok insists that it removes content and accounts that engage in bullying and harassment or otherwise violate its policies.
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