Coronation Street star Nicola Thorp today revealed how police did not tell her the name of the stalker who called himself the ‘Grim Reaper’ and used 25 different identities online to terrorise her.
The actress, 34, was bombarded with frightening messages including threats to sexually abuse her in front of her parents by Ravinderjit Dhillon, 30, for two years.
Speaking to Good Morning Britain this morning, Ms Thorp – who played Nicola Rubinstein on the ITV soap – described the impact of the campaign on her life, and how police would not give her Dhillon’s identity after his arrest.
She told co-hosts Susanna Reid and Ed Balls: ‘You want to know if you are going to be able to take care of yourself if he was to approach you in the street.
‘My main question was: ‘Would he be able to carry me?’ That’s devastating because with these kind of crimes when somebody’s kept anonymous they become every single person that you meet.
‘He was every guy at a bus stop. He was every guy at work that looked at me funny. He was the guy in the supermarket. He just became everybody. I wondered if it could be a friend, somebody who had fallen out with me in the past because he seemed to know so much about my life.
‘And I don’t think it is on women to change how we behave online. It is on men to change their behaviour – abusive men – and also for the police and the authorities to give us the tools to be able to protect ourselves. If there is enough evidence here to get a stalking protection order then surely I should be allowed the right to get the name, the photograph and the details of the man who is doing it.’
Nicola Thorp, 34, was targeted for two years by Ravinderjit Dhillon, 30, as he tormented her online and threatened he would sexually abuse her in front of her parents
In court with her actor fiance Nikesh Patel (pictured together) in June, Ms Thorp told how she gave the Met Police an 89-page document containing details of the harassment she faced
Ms Thorp – who played Nicola Rubinstein on the ITV soap – said not knowing her persecutor left him with ‘all the power’, and she was fearful that anyone she met could be him
Ms Thorp said his abuse was the ‘cost’ for spending her adult life fighting for women’s rights in the public eye, adding: ‘I became the target of the exact behaviour I was standing up against.’
In court, she told how he sent her messages saying he was her ‘grim reaper’ and told her he wouldn’t leave it 28 times in a single message.
The friend apparently ‘had got so close he could smell her’, according to the Sun.
Ms Thorp told the court Dhillon sent her a message via Instagram that said ‘a woman’s place was on her knees’.
‘He told me I was to be put in a headlock and forced into sexual acts and wanted to make my parents watch.
‘He sent me messages saying, ‘I’m going to be with you for ever,’ he said, ‘I’m your grim reaper’ and in one message alone he said 28 times he ‘wasn’t going to leave me’.
Ms Thorp said his abuse was the ‘cost’ for spending her adult life fighting for women’s rights in the public eye, adding: ‘I became the target of the exact behaviour I was standing up against’
The actress even asked for her stalker’s height, a description of him or if he was an ex-partner – but was told by police they could not answer
‘He said alleyways are the perfect place to pick up drunk stupid women and stupid 16-year-old b******.’
Dhillon, of Feltham, Middlesex, was convicted in April. He has been remanded in custody to appear at Isleworth Crown Court for sentencing. The maximum penalty for stalking involving fear of violence is ten years.
Ms Thorp said he also masqueraded as a woman called ‘Helena’ asking for her advice as she was being harassed by an employer, so he could interact with her. Dhillon also contacted her on social media claiming one of his friends followed her on to a train ‘and had got so close to her he could smell her’.
Prosecutor Sondos Arafa told the court: ‘Her voice is shaking just from the sheer impact of someone stalking her for two years. This is aggravated by the offensive material sent to the victim at the time of the offence and the impact of the offence.
‘It is motivated by the hostility against the victim’s sex.’
Dhillon’s IP address was finally linked by police to the accounts he used to harass Ms Thorp and he was arrested.
Ms Thorp rose to fame after going public with her complaint against a major accountancy firm who fired the star for refusing to wear heels. She later petitioned for a ban on dress codes that force women to wear high heels.
Ms Thorp starred on the long-running ITV soap Coronation Street from 2017 to 2019, playing social worker Nicola Rubinstein, who was the estranged daughter of serial killer Pat Phelan.
She became the first star to get caught in Channel Four’s Celebrity Hunted, in aid of Stand Up For Cancer, in April this year when she was found at a Birmingham hotel after going on the run with her boyfriend Nikesh Patel.