Welcome to episode 5 of the Nutterbus Chronicles. I took an extended break from the lunacy over the Christmas and New Year holiday period, to enjoy the festive season and also to preserve my sanity.
But it’s a new year, and it’s time to take a deep breath and peer into the abyss once again. So settle down, make yourselves comfortable.
The Nutterbus “List”
You will have seen from my last two posts in this series how the Bristol family law barrister Sarah Phillimore had managed to ally herself with extreme conspiracy theorists, listed on (The People’s) UK Government Watch List as “journalists, investigators and campaigners”.
Meanwhile, I feature on a list of “dangerous VIPs”, the criteria for inclusion in which are stated – I quote – to be as follows:
- Person appearing on The People’s UK Government Watch List (a/k/a Britain’s No Fly List) has links to crimes which are so serious as to be of national significance.
- Person appearing on The People’s UK Government Watch List (a/k/a Britain’s No Fly List) triggers concern among more than one investigator and/or for multiple reasons and/or based on more than one information source.
- Person appearing on The People’s UK Government Watch List (a/k/a Britain’s No Fly List) appears to have credible links to one or more of:
- serial or organised child sexual abuse
- serial or organised child or youth exploitation
- serious or serial violence
- group or ideology espousing or inciting ethnic division or ethnic/cultural/economic supremacist agenda
- group or ideology espousing eugenics-population reduction
- malign secret society
- intelligence, judicial, policing or media engaged in serious or sustained unlawful or other malign activities: corruption, disinfomation [sic] campaign, deceit, framing of innocent, propaganda, cover up
- serious and knowing malpractice or fraud
- conspiracy to defraud, deceive or injure
- arms trade
- drugs trade
- money laundering
- profiteeting [sic]
- profiting from prohibited or immoral activities
Now, this is obviously paranoid lunacy of the worst stripe. One reason why I regard Sarah Phillimore as wicked is that she has doggedly supported proponents of this brand of lunacy, featuring in this List (see Part 3 of this series), and introduced them as “credible” sources – even as a co-complainant in one instance! – to such agencies as the police and the Bar Standards Board.
This really is the Devil’s work. How in the name of God a practising barrister could stoop to this is, frankly, beyond me. I can only conclude that she is unhinged in some way.
I am not the only person whom she has targeted to reach such an unpalatable conclusion, incidentally. If this ever reaches a court, then there will be a queue of people to tell how she has attacked them as well.
Indeed, after I returned to work this week, I opened a package containing yet more complaints from this woman. Jesus, she never stops!
This has been going on since 2016, I should explain to any new readers. It is what we in Ireland call GUBU – Grotesque, Unbelievable, Bizarre and Unprecedented.
At least this detestable woman wasn’t able to ruin my Christmas holiday. And I suppose I should be thankful for that.
Ironically, the horrible Sarah Phillimore appears unable to comprehend that endless repetitive complaining year in, year out is seriously counter-productive. Now she is placed in a box marked “obviously mad”, at least as far as I am concerned.
R v Laverty
Now let’s get back to the story of Mr Laverty, and how he was accused by Poulton and Baker in 2016, with Sarah Phillimore seemingly desperate to join the hunt early in 2017.
I should explain that I never saw the indictments of Mr Laverty, although I did contact his solicitors Hogan Brown in Liverpool to offer information in January 2017, with Mr Laverty’s permission.
My contact was with regard to accusations by Complainant No. 2 (Baker), not Complainant No. 1 (Poulton).
As I explained earlier, I had not had dealings with Poulton, although she had attacked me a number of times. She had even in 2014 posted a tweet calling me “the lawyer adored by paedophiles worldwide”, which I think reasonable readers will agree is very nasty indeed.
Now Baker, the notorious failed accuser in Operation Ruffle, had – according to her Twitter feed – reported me to the police in 2016, for questioning her lurid account of abuse on Cannock Chase:
Baker claims that the notorious “Nick” of Operation Midland encouraged her to go to the police about her own alleged experiences:
Her sidekick – and a friend of the notorious “Nick” of Operation Midland – Susan Crocombe also reported me to the police (at Baker’s instigation!) around this time:
Crocombe had also reported another critic of Baker, Ian McFadyen (a genuine survivor of abuse), earlier in the year:
Busy bees, these ladies, eh?
I mention this because, by the time Phillimore went to Wiltshire police with absurd reports about me, she was following a path well-trodden by Baker and Crocombe.
Unfortunately for Phillimore, I have her police statement and exhibits. I will be saying more about her baseless claims about me (and others), in a later post. She is one of those incomparably arrogant people whose obsessional documentation of her vendettas simply hands ammunition to her targets.
Back to early 2017. I attended a friend’s birthday party in the third week of January 2017. She is a journalist, and another of her guests was a well-respected blogger. We discussed Mr Laverty’s upcoming trial, and Mr Just’s arrest.
We all agreed that it was deeply troubling that humble bloggers were being subjected to the full force of the criminal law like this. Whatever had happened to free speech in the UK?
I had sometimes tweeted links to some harmless and entirely legitimate blogs about Baker, written by a number of people (including Mr Just), and was having to confront the fact that I was evidently another target judging by the Twitter chat, which by then had become menacing.
Watts’ hit list
Mark Watts, the former Editor-in-Chief of Exaro, who had broadcast the fact of Mr Laverty’s trial and Mr Just’s recent arrest on Twitter, had claimed that January was going to be a good month, and that of ten green bottles, two had fallen. It was obvious that Watts – and others – had a “hit list”.
He also began using the abusive hashtag “barbietroll” at around this time. At the time, he and I were both members of the NUJ. I was so disgusted by Watts’ behaviour – which was childish, spiteful and vicious – that I did not renew my NUJ membership.
Baker and the German anti-Semite, Goodwin, started tweeting that I would be next. When Baker tweeted him a gif of a green bottle with the words “Most Wanted”, I was sure that this was a veiled reference to me.
Would you believe it? Baker and Phillimore then started openly schmoozing on Twitter on 21 January 2017, and subsequently with one of Poulton’s informants, who uses the Twitter handle @ 9outof10catz . Call me cynical, but I don’t think that was coincidence.
I won’t bore you with the numerous screengrabs I managed to capture this period, but what I have bears out my suspicion.
Now it’s time to remind readers of the malicious communications account Spastic Brienne, whose sister account was Socialist Voice @ blogger_mong . Both liked to use the words “spastics” and “mong”, and both were appalling. The Brienne account was the worst I had seen and believe me, I’ve seen a lot.
It was evidently a supporter of Baker, and viciously attacked both Mr Laverty and his defence witness, Mr Just.
It was also a mate of Phillimore, who happily engaged in banter with it about her “mangina” and (blogs passim) encouraged it to “enjoy your freedom of speech”.
Lo and behold, it also attacked me, calling me “incontinent”, repeatedly calling attention to my Irish origins in a grossly abusive fashion, stating that I “stank of piss” and was a pariah in my chambers. These were poison pen communications, broadcast electronically.
It typically used the tripartite formulation promoted by “Britain’s vilest troll”, Old Holborn aka Robert Ambridge, now holed up in Bulgaria. It deactivated every night so that its output was deleted, and then reactivated.
It taunted the police, claiming that it was untouchable. By then, unsurprisingly, seven different police forces had received complaints about its output from various people. And, of course, it was located abroad.
It viciously attacked a number of my Twitter friends. One is a hairdresser, one a writer, and another worked for a university (a gay man, whom it dubbed a paedophile). It was so virulent that I had to tell them to lock their accounts.
I was so perturbed by this particular account that I asked a criminal barrister to review its output, as well as complaining to Baroness Martha Lane Fox, a non-executive director of Twitter UK. Fox’s response was a disgrace. Nothing to see here, move along. I was speechless at her inability (or refusal) to recognise that these were malicious communications.
And this was not all. The Spastic Brienne account spammed Twitter’s automated complaints system, and for a short while both my work and my personal Twitter accounts were suspended. How it gloated, and how Phillimore gloated.
At the time, I had just learnt of the death of a Twitter friend @ franosch whose son had located his Twitter account and had asked me to tell his Twitter friends of his funeral arrangements.
So, as well as being cut off, I was unable to speak to my various friends online, as well as being unable to discuss the predicament in which Mr Laverty was placed, with his contacts. This was sinister: equivalent to having one’s phone lines cut.
Unfortunately for Spastic Brienne and Phillimore, my media contacts are better than that. Mark Stephens of Howard Kennedy gave me a hotline to Twitter’s Head of Trust and Safety, Del Harvey.
My solicitors Simons Muirhead & Burton wrote directly to Twitter UK, and hand-delivered the letter to Twitter’s Soho office (these social media monoliths hate this kind of direct contact). And predictably, Twitter reinstated both my accounts, with a mealy-mouthed apology.
Unfortunately for Mark Watts and David Hencke, who were salivating over this episode, I have got downloads and hard copies of all my Twitter archives from this period.
Now, I should explain that the Spastic Brienne account had predicted that I would be arrested, and that 6-7 police officers would be required to seize my electronic devices. I defy any person targeted with such online threats not to find them troubling, given the context that I have outlined above.
Indeed, I was so troubled that on my return from francosch’s funeral, I contacted the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund (BMIF). As a practitioner in the Court of Protection, I had large quantities of highly sensitive personal information in both electronic and hard copy form.
I felt professionally obliged to seek advice on what I should be doing to protect such material. I am sorry to have to tell you that BMIF’s senior lawyer’s reaction was supine. If you are confronted at dawn in your nightie by ten Metropolitan Police officers claiming to have a warrant, you just have to give them all your stuff, he said! Your defence to any suit by clients, the Official Solicitor, et al, is that it is force majeure.
Seriously? It will not surprise you to learn that I didn’t buy this craven approach.
My own solicitors explained to me that, if police want to raid a lawyer’s office, they must get a warrant that provides for an independent forensic investigator, to isolate the LPP material seized. That sounded more like it.
I also informed Tom Slater, an editor of spiked about the harassment I had been experiencing. He responded: “Jesus”.
Now, it’s getting late, so I think I’ll continue the story tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your evening!