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Nicola Bulley cops slam amateur detectives for conspiracy theories about the mother's death after inquest
27 June 2023, 15:53 | Updated: 27 June 2023, 17:26
A senior police officer has slammed TikTok sleuths for the conspiracy theories which emerged about Nicola Bulley's death after the inquest concluded her death was an accident.
PSI Pauline Staples slammed amateur sleuths in a statement released after the inquest, saying: "I hope that His Majesty's Coroner's clear and definitive findings will put an end to ill-informed speculation and conspiracy theories which have been so damaging to Nikki's family and the community of St Michael's."
Terry Wilcox, the inquest solicitor, also said on behalf of Nicola's family: “Sadly we feel the need again to raise and address the issue of social media.
“It’s upsetting that we’ve continued to receive negative targeted messages and still widely inaccurate speculation being shared on numerous platforms.
“We encourage people to look at the facts, the evidence which we have heard during the inquest and the conclusion reached by the coroner to ignore any amateur views and opinions and to be mindful of the impact words bring.”
A self-declared ‘TikTok detective’ was arrested on suspicion of filming the Lancashire mother's body being pulled out of a river in February - and said he is preparing to sue police after they detained him again for stalking locals.
Curtis Arnold was arrested on June 18 after police spotted his car near St Michael's on Wyre, Lancashire, where missing mother Ms Bulley was found in February.
Arnold, 34, claimed he was only driving to Blackpool to film a thunderstorm when the officers pulled him over, after following him for a few miles.
Lancashire Constabulary confirmed they had arrested Arnold again, and had banned him from entering their county as part of his bail conditions.
The Kidderminster-based barber said: "I already have a civil case against lancs police for last time unlawful arrest. This is no different. They arrested me to keep me away from the Inquest."
Of the Bulley family, DSI Staples added: "They have been through the most unimaginable ordeal over the last six months and I can only hope that this inquest will help in some small way by answering some of the questions they had about what happened to Nikki on January 27, and will allow them to start the process of rebuilding their lives as best as they can.
"I would like to thank Dr Adeley for his careful consideration of the evidence presented to this inquest as well as legal counsel, and all of the witnesses for their participation.
"I would like to finish by bringing this back to Nikki. She was clearly a much-loved mum, partner, daughter, sister and friend.
"I would once again express my deepest sympathy to all her loved ones and I would ask that their privacy is respected at this time to allow them the time and space to rebuild and to heal."
Nicola Bulley’s disappearance sparked a frenzy of interest from internet ‘content creators.’
Many came to the village where Nicola was last seen, sharing theories that they hoped would crack the case.
Hundreds of people traipsed through the beauty spot, taking photographs to post on social media. Others broke into buildings and went through residents’ gardens at night in the hope of finding her.
Police had to issue a 48-hour dispersal order to clear the village at one stage during the investigation.
Detective Superintendent Rebecca Smith said that social media users had been 'playing their own private detectives'.
The force asked people not to 'take the law into their own hands' and risk 'thwarting' their investigation.