Yesterday the Telegraph reported that the former Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming had successfully concluded two libel actions. One was against the former Exaro jouralist, David Hencke, who has agreed that he cannot publish any statement referring to Esther Baker as a “victim or survivor when the use of such terms in context presupposes the truth of her claims”.
Meantime Graham Wilmer, who ran the now mothballed Lantern Project that claimed to have treated Baker, has similarly been made to apologise and agree not to repeat defamatory statements about Mr Hemming.
You can read the Telegraph report here:
I have occasionally met Mr Hemming. Following a series of articles I wrote about the family courts in 2003, he asked me to lunch at the House of Commons. From memory, I also attended a talk at which he spoke in Portcullis House, around this time.
Hemming’s recent litigation is part of the fallout from Exaro’s malign crusade. Exaro was a “dirty tricks” smear operation funded by Jerome Booth, a Putin fan, and run by Tim Pendry, another Putin fanboy. Its aim, according to some, was to take down the Conservative-Lib Dem Coalition Government with a monster sex scandal.
According to Exaro’s malicious and unprincipled Editor-in-Chief, Mark Watts, Booth was hoping for a peerage. That is remarkable, given Exaro’s virulent attack on trust in UK democratic institutions.
Some credulous Labour MPs amplified Exaro’s Gothic fear-mongering about an imaginary cabal of child-murdering, raping and torturing political elites. The gullible who gave oxygen to such baleful fantasies included Tom Watson, deputy leader of the Labour party; John Mann; Simon Danczuk, and Sarah Champion (the last of whom should have known better).
Regrettably, this suggests that Britain’s political classes are unduly manipulable, and so an obvious target for dezinformatsiya initiatives.
I am sorry to have to report that Mr Hemming’s ordeal was not the only problem with which he had to contend. For he was also targeted by an obsessive crank at the family law Bar in Bristol, named Sarah Phillimore.
Phillimore evidently regards herself as a defender of the “honour” of the family courts in Britain. Woe betide anyone who holds a contrary view to hers.
Remarkably, late in May 2016, Phillimore started viciously attacking me on behalf of Baker, Hemming’s accuser, and her online conspiracy theory coterie, which includes a German anti-Semite named Goodwin.
Now, I do not think that was coincidence. Indeed Phillimore linked Hemming and me in a tweet on 26 May 2016:
If you want to wait, for proper debate Best avoid Hemming and Hewson A right gruesome twosome
Evidently Phillimore was incapable of comprehending that Mr Hemming might have more important things on his mind, at a time when the CPS was deliberating whether to prefer charges against him in relation to Baker’s claims, than to deal with her self-important and officious gripes.
After months of snarky and antagonistic tweets, she started seriously pestering him on 8 January 2017:
And on 14 February 2017:
Six weeks will take you to 4pm 21st February. If no reply, I will publish complaint.
There followed more Twitter taunting. It may help if I explain that Phillimore is so obsessed with Hemming that she has a picture of him in her house, encased in an elaborate frame.
One of Phillimore’s new-found friends from May 2016 onwards was Baker herself. Another was a woman named Louise Davis, posing as craftymuvva. She falsely claimed that I was part of a “plot” against Baker, tweeting on 18 February 2018:
From mid-2016 onwards, Phillimore was firmly embedded with Baker, Davis and their unprincipled conspiracy wonks Goodwin (Germany), Sheahan (Turkey) and Crocombe RN (Salisbury). They all avidly supported the now convicted paedophile Beech, a former children’s nurse and old friend of Crocombe.
Bizarrely, on 16 March 2017 Phillimore complained about me to the Bar Standards Board (BSB), claiming that I wrote to someone else about Beech. Phillimore, according to the BSB paperwork, falsely described him to the BSB as “a high profile complainant of child sex abuse – who is entitled to anonymity”.
Check your facts, Ms Phillimore. By then, Beech had been charged with offences of making and possession of child pornography (Cat A) and voyeurism.
No doubt everyone will wonder why an ostensibly reputable family lawyer, such as Phillimore, should wish to climb into the arena with Beech, as well as Baker.
Updated January 30th 2019