Woman, 23, who was bombarded with abusive Snapchat messages is shocked to discover the culprit is her BEST friend – as the online troll is handed a restraining order
- The woman’s mother would wake up at night to check she hadn’t self-harmed
- Naomi Kendrick’s motive for campaign against Opal Williams-Hulse is unknown
- If you have been affected by any of the issues raised by this article, for confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details
A young woman who was driven to brink of suicide after being bombarded with abusive messages from an anonymous troll was shocked when an investigation revealed the culprit was her best friend.
Opal Williams-Hulse called the police after being contacted by a string of fake accounts entitled OpalNeedsToDie and OpalTheW***e.
The 23-year-old was sent vile messages over a three-month period like ‘Opal is a slag’.
But she was stunned when experts traced the messages to 23-year-old Naomi Kendrick, with whom she had been regularly confiding in about a personal issue.
Kendrick, from Winsford, Cheshire, who had been giving her friend a shoulder to cry on whilst secretly sending her hateful messages, received a restraining order and community service.
Naomi Kendrick (pictured), 23, sent her friend Opal Williams-Hulse vile messages for several months driving her to the brink of suicide
Kendrick, from Winsford, Cheshire had been giving her friend a shoulder to cry on whilst secretly sending her hate filled missives online
The motive for Kendrick’s hate campaign against her now former friend is not known.
In a statement to police Miss Williams-Hulse said: ‘I thought Naomi was someone I could trust yet I was getting from her a barrage of messages from different accounts saying horrible things.
‘At the time of receiving these messages, I couldn’t speak and I couldn’t move as I was frozen in fear. I wondered what have I done that’s so bad that someone wanted me dead. I gave my phone to my landlord so that I would not be affected when I was at work.
‘I was crying. I felt vulnerable and scared all the time. I didn’t know how I was going to get through each day. This carried on for three whole months.
‘I was constantly feeling I was being targeted and someone knew where I was. It was torture. I did not feel safe anywhere I went. I lost so many friends during this time all because I could not trust anyone.’
Miss Williams-Hulse said that the names on the fake Snapchat accounts included her sister, niece, mother, father and a three-month-old baby.
‘My mother was upset that someone was sending malicious communications to me,’ she said, ‘It was awful to see what was happening o my family. When I finally found out who was behind it, the first name the police gave me was Naomi’s’ boyfriend. I then knew who it was. I was heartbroken and shocked. I felt so betrayed.
‘She was someone who I thought was my best friend. I had to go back on medication as my anxiety was worse that it had ever been.
‘I was throwing up from stress and anxiety. When driving I was always checking who was behind me. I felt so unsafe at home, at work and especially when I was out.
Kendrick was also complete 300 hours of unpaid work and 25 days of a rehabilitative activity
‘I was having suicidal thoughts. Some days I did not want to get out of bed.. I was in a deep depression. To this day I still do not speak to friends as much as I still find I cannot trust them.
‘My family were all impacted. My mother used to wake up in the middle of night to make sure that I had not done myself any harm.
‘This had a detrimental impact on my life. I feel it was a traumatic experience. There is no excuse for what Naomi has put me and my family through. I should be able to live my life free from fear, which she has deprived me of for some time.’
At Crewe magistrates court, Kendrick was ordered to pay Miss Williams-Hulse £250 compensation after she admitted making use of a public communications network to cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another.
Claire Oliver, prosecuting, said: ‘Miss Opal Williams-Hulse was added to numerous Snapchat accounts between January and March last year. They are all given grossly offensive or malicious names aimed towards her or names of her sister, niece and her father.
‘A number of accounts have gone on to communicate with Miss Williams-Hulse as well. The crown would say that defendant has targeted the complainant in this matter.
‘They were close friends and she had an intimate knowledge of the victim’s past.
‘There were multiple friend requests with names associated with people known to the victim. Substantial distress was caused to Miss Williams-Hulse.’
She was also issued with a two-year restraining order with conditions that she does not go within 100m of Miss Williams-Hulse’s address, or approach her
Kendrick had a previous caution in 2018 for a malicious communication. Her lawyer Tony Birchall said: ‘The defendant is very remorseful for what she has done.
‘There is reference in the probation report to her age, her lack of maturity and her limited awareness.
‘She has been sitting at home and created these friend requests. She was not thinking about what she is doing and the stress she is putting her friend through. She understands the circumstances now.
‘In a rather perverse way, the fact that ultimately the complainant realised that this was one of her best friends that had done this, may have given her some comfort. It was not some mysterious figure she does not know.
‘It can put some closure on this. She knows who she is and knows the background. In a perverse way that may provide some comfort. Though clearly she has been distressed about what was going on.’
Kendrick was also complete 300 hours of unpaid work and 25 days of a rehabilitative activity with the probation service and pay £215 in costs and a victim surcharge.
She was also issued with a two-year restraining order with conditions that she does not go within 100m of Miss Williams-Hulse’s address, or approach her or contact her, including through social media.
JP Helen Jarman told Kendrick: ‘Clearly, the victim has suffered a lot of distress, anxiety and anguish from this and she continues to suffer.’
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