Dyslexic Hitchin victim of online abuse bravely speaks out: ‘Internet trolls are cowards’

Handyman Neil Blackham has bravely spoken out against online trolls.

Handyman Neil Blackham has bravely spoken out against online trolls. - Credit: Archant

A dyslexic Hitchin handyman and dad-of-two has bravely spoken out after being trolled on social media for his condition.

Neil Blackham, of Russell’s Slip near the Highlander pub, commented on the Facebook page ‘Parking like a twat in Hitchin’, but was picked on for his spelling mistakes which are a condition of the dyslexia he’s had since he was a child.

He was promptly banned him from the site with no explanation given.

Neil, who went to Purwell Primary School, suffered bullying because he had trouble with reading and spelling despite being sharp enough to later run his own successful business, and had even contemplated suicide as a child.

The 38-year-old, who once appeared on Channel 4 TV show Grand Designs as a result of his job, said: “I can’t believe I was trolled because of my dyslexia. It simply shouldn’t happen in this day and age.


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“I’ve decided to speak out to try and help people who suffer with dyslexia and for anyone with a learning disability. I’m a firm believer you shouldn’t write something you wouldn’t say face-to-face..

“It’s a sad fact of life nowadays people feel they can simply abuse people online – but why?

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“A lot of abusers say they didn’t mean what they said if they’re caught, but that doesn’t make it acceptable.

“If you’re a troll you’re a coward as far as I’m concerned.”

To combat the growing menace of online trolling, Neil has suggested abusers spend a day with the person they abused – particularly in cases where a specific issue has been

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