I thought I should perhaps wind back a bit and try to fill in some of the “back story” as regards Mr Laverty’s issues with the other co-complainant in R v Laverty, namely the notorious conspiracy theorist Sonia Poulton.
As I have explained previously, I have not met either of them, though I was aware that Mr Laverty had been at Bryn Estyn.
That was a residential home for children in Clwyd, which became the subject of a national scandal in 1991. It is the subject of a fascinating book by the late historian Richard Webster, The Secret of Bryn Estyn: The making of a modern witch hunt (2005).
Webster did not dispute the existence of abuse, but he contested the alleged scale of abuse. He also was interested in how the belief that residential care homes in Britain had been infiltrated by “paedophile rings” gained acceptance and how, in the ensuing drive to find perpetrators of abuse, many innocent people had been wrongly accused.
From time to time, I made reference to Webster’s book on my personal Twitter account. I can only assume that Mr Laverty started following me, because he had noticed my references to it.
Phillimore later sought to make much of this, though she was evidently ignorant of his likely motivation in choosing to do so.
Davison pops up again
Webster notes that one conspiracy theorist who had contacted Councillor Dennis Parry about Bryn Estyn, back in the day, was none other than Andrea Davison who was then using the name Tara Davidson.
She claimed to have been an agent for MI5 since the 1980s, and (amongst other things) alleged that a detective inspector in North Wales police had blocked an investigation into alleged child abuse, because of pressure by freemasons.
Davison was drip-feeding stories to Scallywag and, later, to the conspiracy theorist David Icke. Poulton treats her as an authoritative source, as I have previously noted.
Based in North Wales herself, Davison was it seems also sniffing around former Bryn Estyn inmates. Mr Laverty recalls meeting in her in a hotel, and her telling him: “we want a copper”.
Unfortunately for Davison, it seems Derby Police became suspicious of her, after documents in another fraud case were found to have come from her.
In 2010, police searched three flats owned by her. In July 2012, she was tried in absentia in Mold Crown Court on 27 counts of theft and fraud offences, having gone on the run seeking asylum in Ecuador. She was convicted of 26 counts.
According to a report in Wales Online, the trial judge said that he was “satisfied that she was a highly intelligent woman who used information she fraudulently obtained to repeatedly create false identification documents for the purpose of obtaining, potentially, many thousands of pounds worth of credit”.
The report quoted DC Stephen Winnard, who said afterwards: “What we found was a document factory at Felinheli, personal documents that could be used in any type of fraud. The end result of her actions is that many people lost their life savings through organised crime groups.”
As her statement to the Macur Review of the Waterhouse Report in 2013 shows, Davison remains obsessed with alleged paedophile rings in elite circles, stating: “members of the extended paedophile network .. included famous names, police officers, politicians, businessmen and members of the legal profession including judges”.
Her statement also alleged “the use of child porn and paedophilia by MI5 to control influential people”, and cover-ups. And it spoke of “the involvement of Conservative politicians in paedophilia”. She continues to promote her theories.
Laverty and Team Outlaw
So how did Mr Laverty end up being accused by Poulton of stalking and online harassment? A Twitter associate of Poulton, whom she referred to affectionately as her “Team Outlaw”, had given an interview on Channel 4 in which he claimed to have been at Bryn Estyn, and to have seen the late Sir Peter Morrison, Conservative MP for Chester, there.
This man used the alias online of Jimmy Outlaw, although his real name was James Roydon Jones.
It seems that Mr Laverty contested Mr Jones’ claim to have been at Bryn Estyn. The ensuing dispute saw Mr Jones posting a blog attacking Mr Laverty in April 2015, which caused Mr Laverty to go the police. They charged Mr Jones with an offence of malicious communications.
According to a court report in North Wales Live, Mr Jones’ blog contained “grossly offensive and sickening comments of a derogatory nature about the complainant and his family.” Mr Jones was convicted and, after appearing in court accompanied by a CPN, he was sentenced to a fine on February 18, 2016.
Rather dramatically, the Met arrested Mr Laverty only a few weeks later, in April 2016, at Poulton’s behest. This certainly had an air of retaliation about it.
As I have said previously, I knew nothing about this at the time. In Ireland, we were celebrating the centenary of Easter 1916.
It was only after Mark Watts’ tweets in early January 2017, that I had any inkling of what was afoot.
Whatever the underlying merits (or otherwise) of Poulton’s allegations against Mr Laverty, what particularly concerned me was the revelation that Baker had also managed to get Mr Laverty charged, and that Mr Just had then been arrested on 4 January 2017: news thoughtfully leaked by Watts.
Is it normal in Great Britain for defence witnesses to be raided by the police, and their confidential communications with the defence’s legal team to be seized? I am not a criminal lawyer, but surely this is wrong.
The online chatter, as I have previously indicated, was also striking. Another Poulton associate, Benjamin Thomson, had upbraided Watts for broadcasting Poulton’s involvement:
It is interesting that the Hollie Greig campaign, which has form for criminal harassment, then weighed in:
IMA thought Sonia didnt want this to have her name on it until AFTER the trial !
Just why was Sonia Poulton so anxious to be anonymous, I wonder? I will leave you to ponder that question.
Later, Mr Laverty’s solicitor asked me to be a defence witness for her client on the afternoon of 3 February 2017.
Under 48 hours later, although I did not know it at the time, Wiltshire Police forwarded Phillimore’s extraordinary complaint about me to the Metropolitan Police, stating that they were “trying to get ahead of the game as it were”.
If that is coincidence, then it is a bloody odd one. Especially when you consider the tweets Phillimore sent Baker and @ 9outof10catz (the latter being a Poulton contact) on the very same day, 5 February 2017. The resort to social media by people purporting to be complainants merits systematic study, in my view.
I should also explain that Poulton’s chum Thomson later viciously blamed me in a blog on 27 December 2017, some months after R v Laverty eventually fell apart on 23 May 2017:
I am lucky enough to know Sonia on a personal level. […] Sonia was in the middle of a court case, she had brought against a prolific pro McCann and friend of Tony Bennett’s – Darren Laverty […] The case, fell apart at the eleventh hour, the reasons for which I won’t go into, suffice to say a certain child abuse apologist, and barrister called in favours for her friend Laverty.
This is delusional nonsense. But it shows how, in a certain crazy subculture, I am seen as responsible for all sorts of things that, self-evidently, I can have no responsibility for.
Tomorrow, I aim to set out just how much barrister Sarah Phillimore managed to embed herself in this conspiracy theory subculture, obsessed with “VIP paedophiles” and missing children, as part of her own obsessional crusade against me.