real life lock Subscriber Exclusive

'I turned a guy down for a date. Years later, he sent me a chilling message.'

I was pouring a pint when I first laid eyes on Tom*. 

He was of slender build, medium in height, had a shaved head, a big smile and eyes like a serpent. That should have been the first red flag.

I was 20 and working part-time in a bar while at university. I'd worked there for several months; this was Tom's first day. 

I recognised him as a customer. It was a local pub, so the same people always came in. When he walked behind the bar, I introduced myself. 

"I know who you are, babe," he said with a grin. 

Watch: How to spot a psychopath. Post continues below. 

Video via

In a local pub, most punters knew the names of the bar staff, so it didn’t strike me as strange. 

Over time, Tom and I became friends. He was funny and charismatic but had a temper. If customers were rude, Tom didn't know how to bite his tongue. He was pleasant to me, though, and we started socialising outside work. 

The relationship was platonic for me, but I began to suspect that Tom liked me more than a friend, from the way he looked at me and complimented me. 

My suspicions were confirmed one night when we drank in the pub together. 

"I fancy you so much," he told me. "You're gorgeous. I’d love to take you out." 

I squirmed in my seat, wishing he'd never said it. "I like you as a friend," I told him. 

Thankfully, Tom seemed to take the rejection well. We remained friends; there was no awkwardness, and I even dated one of his friends for a few months. Apart from a few digs at his friend's character now and again, Tom seemed okay with it. Or so I thought. 

We remained colleagues and friends for another couple of years until I left the pub and moved away. Over the years, he'd message me on Facebook sometimes, which I always replied to, but then, one day, he sent me a message asking if I still wore g-strings. Thinking it was inappropriate, I ignored him. After that, he kept commenting on my pictures. 'You're stunning', 'You're so pretty' and so on. 

Freaked out by all the comments, I started to ignore him, but he didn’t get the hint. The messages kept coming. I didn't understand why he wouldn't give up, but respecting the friendship we once had, I didn't want to block him. 

Until one day, he sent me a message that got my attention. 

It said: "Hey babe, this is random, but a pic of you someone posted came up on a porn website the other day." 

I was horrified. I searched my mind, thinking of my exes I'd sent pictures to, and which ones would resent me, or care enough, to upload my photos on a porn website. 

I asked Tom which picture it was. It wasn't naked. "Just one from your Facebook," he told me. 

Then, he warned me to be careful about my privacy settings. I asked him for the link, but he said he couldn't find it. I tried myself, without success, then left it. If they weren’t explicit, did it matter that much? 

A week later, I received another message from Tom. 

"I hope you're good. Saw that pic again the other day. There are a few pics on the profile now," he wrote. 

I froze and waited for him to send the link, but nothing came. When I asked for it, he said he’d lost it again. I didn’t understand why he wouldn’t send it as soon as he saw it.

Over the coming days, Tom continuously sent me messages with general chit chat, all of which I ignored. Amid it all, he told me he was looking for the link and he’d send it as soon as he found it again. 

Then, finally, two weeks after he'd informed me about the pictures, he revealed the username of the profile they were on. I was at work but searched it immediately, needing to know what was on there. When the photos flashed up, I gasped in horror. The pictures weren't just of me on my own — whoever had done this had uploaded pictures of me with my mum, dad, and my sister. I was on a porn site with my family! I felt sick. 

Then, suddenly, something else caught my attention. Underneath the pictures, you could see when they'd been uploaded. All the photos had been uploaded that day.  

If that was the case, they wouldn't have been on there when Tom initially said he'd found them. It was him, I realised.

By now, my colleagues could see the distress on my face. As I explained what was happening, I burst into tears. 

“You have to call the police,” my boss said. I agreed, but what would I tell them? Some guy I turned down years ago was taking his revenge my posting pictures of me and my family on porn websites, for other weirdos to get off to?  

When I got home later, I looked at the profile again, and there were more. One picture was me in a bikini from years before, meaning Tom was looking far back through them for something incriminating. I started to panic about how far he would go. Would he photoshop my face on somebody else's naked body?

I called the police and explained what had happened and they said they'd send someone to speak to me the next day. I then had an awkward conversation with my parents to let them know we were on a porn site together. My dad was furious, but my mum’s response made me chuckle. "Well. what picture is it? Do I look good?" she asked. 

The next day, an officer came to see me at work. I'd printed off screenshots of the profile with and all the messages Tom had sent me over the last few years. He agreed it was disturbing but all they could do was go to his house and give him a warning. The problem was, I had no idea where he lived. I didn’t even have his number. 

"I haven't seen him for ten years," I told him. All they could do then was keep the case open and ask me to report anything else. 

In the meantime, they told me to block Tom, which I did, and then I emailed the porn website explaining the situation, and they removed the pictures within hours.

For two years, I thought I'd heard the last of Tom. I was nervous he'd upload more pictures, but I tried to push the whole ordeal aside and get on with my life. Then, one evening, I got a follow request on my Instagram from a girl I'd known when I worked in the pub. I already had her on Facebook, and we'd always been friendly, so I accepted and followed her back. 

She didn't have many pictures, but she messaged me to tell me she had a new account because her old one had been hacked. She then sparked some casual conversation, leading to me telling her where I lived. She told me she wanted to meet up and asked me when I was free, but then she started telling me how beautiful I was. 

When the conversation started to turn explicit, suddenly, my stomach filled with dread. The girl I knew was straight, so it made no sense for her to be speaking to me in such a way. Tom also knew this girl, who would come into the pub when he worked there. 

I messaged the girl on Facebook with a screenshot of the profile. 

"Strange question, but is this you?" I asked her. 

"It's me in the photos, but it's not my profile," she replied. 

When I told her who I thought it was, her reply shocked me. 

"He’d been harassing me, too," she told me. 

In some way I was relieved I wasn’t the only one receiving his attention. 

Armed with new evidence, we both reported it, but there still wasn't enough for the police to act. 

I set all my profiles to private, and if anyone added me that Tom and I both knew, I was on my guard immediately. 

For a while, I was worried he'd turn up somewhere unexpected, but I haven’t heard from him since. 

I can only hope he has received the message loud and clear.

This author is known to Mamamia, but has chosen to remain anonymous for privacy reasons. 

Feature image: Getty.

Unlock unlimited access to the best content for women