Laura Bullock may have moved on, but her first love, Dale Shipley hadn't, so he decided to try and bring her down with him. Laura, 21, from Stoke-on-Trent, shares her story…

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My stomach fluttered with excitement as I attached the naked photo to a Facebook message and pressed send. Within seconds, my boyfriend Jake’s excited reply flashed up.

Wow, you look HOT, he wrote.

Despite my blushes, I couldn’t stop beaming. I’d never done anything like this before! Risky, but thrilling. At 24, he was four years older than me, and the spark was instant. Jake made me feel so confident – I trusted him.

It’d been different with my childhood sweetheart Dale Shipley…

Dale came to my house almost every night for tea, and my family adored him. But after two-and-a-half years, we were more like best friends than lovers. And, once we left college, we drifted apart.

Five months after we’d split, I’d met Jake and realised what Dale and I had been missing. Passion!

Laura Bullock

As a bit of fun, I started sending Jake cheeky photos of me naked or in my underwear. We’d been together more than a year when, in April last year, Jake showed me a Facebook message on his phone. Attached were my naughty snaps, along with a message.

I’ve got these naked pics of Laura. She’s sent them to other men. You need to know what she’s like. She did the same thing to me.

My blood froze. ‘Someone must’ve hacked my account,’ I gasped.

Instinctively, I knew it could only be one person. Dale. But it was all lies. I’d never even sent him a sexy photo, let alone anyone else… Only Jake.

Thankfully, Jake believed me. Only, my ex sent another message.

I’ll post the photos online.

‘He won’t,’ I said. Dale wanted to split us up, but he wasn’t malicious…

Only, one evening, an Instagram message popped up.

I went to school with you and I know you’re not that kind of person but I found these. 

Below were links to porn sites. When I clicked on one, a familiar image filled the screen.

Me, naked. Underneath, trolls had posted the vilest comments. They called me a slut and a slag, even threatened to rape me. My name, age and location had even been published on one site. Hysterical, I managed to tell my mum Julie, 43. She was shocked, but together we rang the non-emergency police line. They told me to come in and give my statement.

‘I want to overdose,’ I croaked.

What if my colleagues had seen my picture, or my family? Mum was so scared I’d harm myself, she made me sleep in her bed and even followed me to the bathroom.

Jake couldn’t believe it. The Dale I’d known had been so caring. I’d needed spinal surgery for scoliosis as a teenager and he’d helped build me back up. I felt numb as I was interviewed by a male police officer my dad’s age. As he asked me to describe the photos, I burned with shame.

Laura Bullock

Dale was arrested, and Jake rang the porn sites to get my photos removed. He was amazing, but sometimes I couldn’t bear for him to touch me.

In the end, I pushed Jake away – so Dale had got what he’d wanted.

I poured out my emotions in a scrapbook. In one passage, I wrote, I’ve sat for five hours at the police station with my mum – someone who I’m meant to make proud of me. How can she be proud of a daughter naked on the Internet? 

In another, Every time my phone flashes, my heart races, thinking, who’s seen me now – a family member?

This June I faced Dale Shipley, 20, at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, as he pleaded guilty to disclosing a sexual photograph without consent, with intent to cause distress.

Shipley couldn’t look at me as Judge David Fletcher told him he’d behaved ‘extremely foolishly’.

But Shipley was only handed a 12-month community order, with 80 hours of unpaid work and a two-year restraining order. I was crushed. After all the pain and humiliation, it didn’t feel like justice.

Now, I’m a world away from the happy-go-lucky girl I once was. I’m still single, and it’ll take a very special man to win my trust.

I just want to warn other girls of the dangers of sending naked photos. No matter how much you love and trust someone, let them take a mental image instead.