Ian Payne 4am - 7am
TikTok 'ghoul' who filmed Nicola Bulley's body announces he made 'anonymous donation to family'
27 February 2023, 11:01 | Updated: 27 February 2023, 12:41
An amateur sleuth who filmed Nicola Bulley's body being pulled from a river has announced he made an "anonymous" donation to the late mother-of-two's family in an attempt to make amends for his actions.
Wannabe journalist Curtis Arnold, 34, duped his way into official press areas and hoodwinked police officers on the day that Nicola's body was found.
The social media "ghoul" who has faced a barrage of criticism for his actions, posted grim footage of officers using a body-bag near the river and was slammed for his sensationalist and hurtful headlines about Nicola Bulley's disappearance on social media.
Despite the unethical practices, Arnold claims he is offering "media and journalism done differently" and that he is motivated by getting justice for those who can't access it.
On his TikTok channel, 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 mainstream media can get away with that. I just presumed, they'd taken the video and the viewers on YouTube would want to see what's happening and perhaps I didn't take into account the family at that time, I admit that.
"That's why I've taken it off TikTok, I've taken it off Facebook and today, I've made a donation to the family - five times the amount that that particular video has made me. I won't give figures away but I've made an anonymous donation to Paul [Ansell]."
The move was roundly condemned for posting the footage and not respecting the dignity and privacy of the deceased mother, but in his apology, he complained that his address had been posted online in the wake of the post.
Referencing an article which revealed his identity, he said: "I've had people come to the house, I've had my personal address posted all over Facebook and shared. I'm not trying to play the victim here, I'm just stating that article has caused that."
The Kidderminster-based barber is reported to have criminal convictions for drink-driving, burglary and fraud - which included taking a number of images of women under the guise of searching for models to promote a leggings brand.
A source from HMP Wormwood Scrubs told The Sun that during his time there, Arnold 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."