Account No. 00562866
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This Fighting Fund is designed to support me through legal issues that arise as a consequence of my work as a journalist and broadcaster working to expose corruption and injustices and raising awareness to matters of public interest. Thank you.
Following the two-day hearing in the High Court on October 17 and October 18, 2023 in Hemming vs Poulton the judgment has been handed down this morning.
I represented myself against all three parties. This was through necessity.
I have been billed approximately £150k so far - which is a phenomenal amount without even getting to trial – and should tell people something of what I have experienced.
Former Lib-Dem MP Mr. John Hemming was represented by barrister Matthew Hodson. Mr. Hemming’s friends and associates Mr. Samuel Collingwood Smith and Mr. Darren Laverty represented themselves.
For the avoidance of doubt, and because the situation is ongoing, this extensive post is primarily about Mr. Hemming and Mr. Collingwood Smith. Unless Mr. Laverty is directly mentioned – as in the paragraph about him or when the judge refers to him – this is not about him. I wish to make that clear to avoid any unnecessary confusion moving forward.
Everything that follows was in open court or in the judgment.
There was a great deal of information covered in those two days and so for ease I have broken it down into categories.
Also, for ease of reading, I have replaced ‘Defendant’, ‘Claimant’, ‘3rd Party’ and ‘4th Party with our names.
OTHER PEOPLE’S TWEETS
Mr. Hemming sought to sue me for defamation regarding other people’s tweets from April 2021 that did not mention him, and I deny were about him. Thankfully, his application was unsuccessful. Costs were awarded to me.
The Judge, Mrs. Justice Hill described this part of the two-day hearing as: “the most complex and time-consuming issue” and awarded my “costs of meeting the application, in accordance with the general “loser pays” rule set out in CPR 44.2(2)(a).”
MALICE & HARASSMENT
Mr. Hemming sought to add ‘malice’ and ‘harassment’ to his case. This was allowed. Costs were awarded to him.
The Judge expressed some concern about legal conduct while I was professionally represented by my barrister and lawyers and acknowledged that this contributed to her allowing Mr. Hemming permission to advance a harassment claim and acknowledging an, as yet, unknown outcome regarding myself and Mr. Darren Laverty. (See below – My Conclusion – for more details on this).
MY AMENDED HARASSMENT COUNTERCLAIM
I have added new pleadings to my case based on what has been published about me on Samuel Collingwood Smith’s blog by himself (calling me a 'child abuser') and extensive comments from an ‘anonymous commenter’ all occurred while this case was live. (See Mr. Smith's Submissions below for more details).
The amendments had already been agreed save for the adding of a paragraph and the withdrawing of an admission. I failed on one. The judgment described this as my having succeeded on around 50% but lost on the remainder.
This was one of the issues involving my legal team. I have agreed to the cost of that one issue but the remainder of the costs of the amendments shall be costs in the case (in other words, who eventually wins the overall case will receive them).
MR. SMITH’S SUBMISSIONS
Samuel Collingwood Smith, who is a McKenzie Friend and very close friend of John Hemming, represented himself.
I have had three years of litigation from Mr. Smith, and this was the first time I have witnessed him in court.
1. He asked the Court to award him ¼ of the costs of preparing the court bundle as he claimed that through my actions his costs had increased. I opposed this and was successful. The usual rule of ‘costs in the case’ was maintained.
Justice Hill observed that there was nothing to suggest I had created problems for Mr. Smith in compiling the court bundle and she states in the judgment:
“I therefore do not see a basis for ordering (Miss Poulton) to pay ¼ of (Mr. Smith’s) costs of the bundle as sought. He advanced no further arguments to support his application that (Miss Poulton) should pay his hearing costs beyond the preparing of the bundle. I observe that he chose to attend the full two days of the hearing, even when applications that did not affect him were being considered.”
2. Mr. Smith also submitted details of eye problems which Mr. Hemming sought to partly rely on in bringing a new lawsuit against me (see details below) claiming that Mr. Smith has suffered eye stress as a consequence of dealing with me. He submitted evidence to show he had eye issues.
I opposed this. Thankfully, I succeeded.
The judgment states: “One clinician had written on 5 July 2023 that (Mr. Smith) had been suffering from stress, but otherwise I did not discern clear medical evidence in support of the proposition advanced as to the cause of it.”
I was happy to hear it.
Given that Mr. Smith had sued me once (then forced to discontinue the claim when he sought professional advice and only after I had spent thousands defending myself) and then issued a further lawsuit against me (which he did not follow through but, again, forced me to find the money to defend myself) I think it would’ve been too much to take if the court had awarded him anything on the basis of my creating his stress.
3. Mr. Smith sought assistance regarding the court and an ‘anonymous commenter’ whom he had published on his blog and who had accused me of being involved in murder, gang rape, corruption with the Metropolitan Police, stealing data and more heinous crimes. These are the comments that have been newly added to my lawsuit.
Again, thankfully, his submission failed.
The Judge wrote: “I do not consider it appropriate to make a pre-emptive order of the type sought by (Mr. Smith).”
4. Mr. Smith further sought an order that I be prohibited from further use of the information disclosed regarding the Commenter on his blog. I opposed this as I had already agreed terms when I sought the identity of the commenter (a Norwich Pharmacal Order) and Justice Hill was satisfied with that.
I have no intention of breaking the terms of that order and I made that clear.
The Judge wrote: “I therefore assume he accepts that this order was unnecessary given that the Senior Master’s order had already addressed this issue, in the usual way…”
It is standard practice to pay a small sum of money when seeking a Norwich Pharmacal Order and my former legal team had already agreed to pay Mr. Smith for supplying me with the identification and details of the anonymous commenter on his blog.
I had asked Mr. Smith for details to send him this amount in June but that was not forthcoming.
I have happily agreed to pay £195 as I considered that a small amount to receive information regarding ‘The Commenter’ and how I may need to protect myself from this person moving forward.
I advise anyone dealing with such an issue to apply for a Norwich Pharmacal, many people will be unaware it is available to them (I was) and at a small and reasonable cost.
Suffice it to say, I was extremely happy with all the outcomes regarding Mr. Collingwood Smith.
A FURTHER NEW LAWSUIT REGARDING MY DOCUMENTARY PAEDOPHILES IN PARLIAMENT (2018)
In addition to his existing lawsuit, Mr. Hemming sought to initiate a new GDPR lawsuit against me in June 2023: he planned to compel me to update my documentary.
Note: he had never sued me for defamation even though he had threatened to legally pursue me in 2018 when it was released.
I defended this GDPR claim on the basis that there had been ‘no material change’ to the film contents, it still remained relevant, and I had reported about Mr. Hemming and Miss Esther Baker under a Journalistic Exemption.
When Mr. Hemming issued this new claim against me in June, following my failure to settle on inappropriate terms (details below under SLAPP headline), the Court had previously ‘stayed’ (put a hold on) the application as it ‘relates to similar issues between the parties’.
In other words, the existing lawsuit already covers similar ground and a further lawsuit was questionable.
In July, Master Stevens in the High Court directed that Mr. Hemming, if so advised, should file and serve a witness statement and further directions would be heard at the October 17/18 hearing including consideration of whether the claim should be dismissed as an abuse of process.
Thankfully, Mrs. Justice Hill expressed concerns about the treatment towards me:
“I do have concerns that the manner of the proceedings is designed to cause (Miss Poulton) problems of expense and harassment of the sort that calls into question whether it is being pursued for an improper collateral purpose.
The bringing of this claim as a separate claim, and the forceful arguments that it should proceed separately (to which proposition (Mr. Smith) and (Mr. Laverty) added strong support) adds to this picture, especially when it appears tolerably
clear that if the KB claim does proceed, it should be consolidated with the QB claim (see - below).”
“When one also factors in (i) (Mr.Hemming’s) application to add a significant number of claims to the QB claim; (ii) (Mr. Smith’s) application to commence detailed costs assessment proceedings against her for a sum of £95 (see [312-
below); and (iii) (Mr. Laverty’s) new breach of contract claim against her, (Miss Poulton’s) submissions about harassment and oppression appear persuasive.”
The judge refused to strike out the claim as “an abuse of process at this stage” and also refused to lift the stay meaning Mr. Hemming cannot progress his new lawsuit against me at present.
She said: “I continue to have very real concerns that this claim is not “worth the candle” and is thus potentially within the third category of abuse described at - above.”
Mr. Hemming and Mr. Smith have opposed my Fighting Fund from the start.
That is this page and the money it has enabled me to raise publicly and privately to defend myself against their lawsuits and any other legal situations that may arise as a consequence of my work as an investigative journalist.
The judge allowed Mr. Hemming to add one of my posts to his defamation case. I deny this was about him/them.
This was a general post about the enemies I have as a journalist. It did not name them because it was not about them.
As I told the judge: “Because of the work I do I have accrued many enemies but Mr. Hemming and Mr. Smith centre themselves in my life. They try and make everything I write and say about them in order to turn into lawsuits that they draw up themselves and at little cost to them.”
MR. MUHAMMAD BUTT
Muhammad Butt, CEO of ONEVSP (formerly Brand New Tube) – who has previously contributed to my Fighting Fund and employed me in a freelance capacity – submitted a witness statement testifying to alleged harassment of me and him and he was also in court (as were other supporters - thank you, dearly).
Mr. Butt is mentioned in the judgment as Mr. Smith objected to my including him (even though I was forced to because Mr. Hemming had brought him into proceedings attempting to convince the judge that he was ‘vexatious’ – when he was absolutely not). The Judge did not have an issue with Mr. Butt’s contribution to the hearing.
The judgment states:
In light of these circumstances it is hard to sustain the argument that (Miss Poulton's) conduct in insisting on the inclusion of these documents was inappropriate, let alone so inappropriate that she should be penalised in costs."
It should be noted that Rise – the breakfast show I have produced for OneVSP – is currently on a break at Mr. Butt’s request.
I fully understand.
Muhammad Butt has allegedly endured threats and harassment over three years with the aim of having him drop me, and I think there’s only so much one person can take, in my opinion.
Certainly, no other platform or news outlet have stood by me and my work like Muhammad has and, no matter whether we work together in the future, I am deeply grateful to Mr. Butt for the last three years.
No one should be attacked - as we have both alleged - for working with an independent journalist.
MR. DARREN LAVERTY
Having previously settled with Mr. Darren Laverty in September 2021 (see post below) I applied for injunctive relief for alleged breach of contract. He submitted a counter application. This will continue.
Mr. Smith sought to have this transferred to County Court (even though, as the judge noted, he is not a party to the applications) but she refused to permit this stating:
“In my judgment such a transfer would be inappropriate. These applications arise out of alleged breaches of a High Court settlement agreement and are made in the course of an ongoing High Court claim.”
Justice Hill noted that Mr. Laverty sought his own costs for the hearing, but he was denied these. The Judge wrote: “He advanced no grounds on which (Sonia Poulton) or any other party should pay his costs of the hearing and I can see none.”
SLAPP - THE ALLEGED SILENCING OF A JOURNALIST
I am going to quote directly from the judgment to sum up this point.
This is in regards to Mr. Hemming’s proposed new lawsuit that was not allowed to go ahead.
“She also submitted that (i) the claim had only been brought because she had refused to settle the QB claim on terms that would have disadvantaged her; (ii) it is part of a pattern of (Mr. Hemming), (Mr. Smith) and (Mr. Laverty) working together to pursue her, her supporters (such as Mr Butt) and her legal representatives; (iii) specifically, it is a “SLAPP” (a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation), intended to intimidate, and silence her, in particular to increase her costs so as to interfere with her fundraising; (iv) in fact, due to the demands of the “complete bombardment” of litigation she had experienced over the last three years, she no longer had lawyers to assist her; and (v) (Mr. Hemming) and (Mr. Smith) are serial litigants who engage in litigation more widely than cases against her, with reference being made to examples of (Mr. Hemming) being criticised by judges and an assertion that (Mr. Smith) has acted contrary to the guidance for the conduct of McKenzie Friends.”
It was a huge undertaking to represent myself. I have never done such a thing before; I was terrified, and it has been a steep learning curve. I am grateful for the experience and pleased with the results.
I feel a renewed confidence about my work and what I stand for.
I found the judge – Mrs. Justice Hill – to be fair and even-handed. She gave me a decent opportunity to defend myself even with my inexperience against a professional barrister who is also a judge on the circuit.
There were two specific areas in which the judge criticised my litigation and, interestingly, both of those were nothing to do with me, per se, but the conduct from my former legal representatives.
This included my former barrister filing a late submission to the court - a day before a hearing in July 2022 - that Mr. Hemming had time-barred issues, e.g. attempting to sue me for defamation after the one year statute-limited date.
This late submission had been described as a ‘tactical move’, which I denied.
I had no prior knowledge that my legal team had raised this late submission until I arrived at court and was informed by one of my lawyers, I made that clear to the judge.
I also pointed out that I didn’t believe respectable professionals would lower themselves to such a cheap stunt and I genuinely believed it to be an oversight on behalf of my team.
Nonetheless the judge ordered I pay for their error. I was not happy about it, but I understood why.
It’s not my mistake but they were representing me.
The second was the late decision to amend wording in my Defence and Counterclaim.
Again, I was unaware that this was an issue as my barrister and lawyer had changed it, sent it to me as matter of course and that was that.
I assumed they were right to do this. After all, they are top London media barristers and solicitors and I have no training in law.
The judge said this should’ve been done earlier. I accept both points.
I am now deciding how I want to move forward with this. But I know myself and when I say ‘enough is enough’, I mean it.
Much of what has happened to me was allowed to happen because I had professional legal representatives.
As a litigant-in-person the game has changed.
In many respects, much of what I wanted to highlight – that of my allegations of being oppressed and harassed for three years & more – has already been aired in open court and is now available in the National Archives.
This is the second judgment. The first judgment described actions towards me as: “Unreasonable and oppressive” and “Unacceptable and oppressive.”
I shall take a moment to ponder what steps I wish to take next.
Again, thank you for all of those who have supported me throughout this. It has been a dark time, the judgment refers briefly to the impact on my health, but I am through the worst and proud that I stood up for what I believe in.
It was preposterous to hear in court that the other side believe I am trying to prove Mr. Hemming is a child abuser.
This is nonsense and I fought this suggestion strongly.
I have never set out to prove that and neither have I said that. No one who has supported me thinks I am doing that, either.
The only thing I wanted to prove was the behaviour that has happened against me as a consequence of making a film about allegations in Parliament and the British establishment.
I feel some vindication that I have done that.
Even though I have been careful in writing this and stuck to what was said in open court or what is in the judgment, I will probably receive more litigation threats. I will decide how to deal with those as and when.
The system is only able to protect me so far. It can intervene (such as it did with Mr. Hemming’s attempted new lawsuit) but it cannot stop people drawing up their own lawsuits in the first place. Well, up to a point.
That said, I can react differently moving forward as I do not have a legal team that has to abide by their regulatory body (SRA) while those drawing up their own lawsuits do not.
I urge people to read the judgment, it makes for interesting reading and is extremely illuminating as to what an independent freelance journalist has to deal with in the course of her work.
Even though I remain litigant-in-person I need to continue raising funds to settle any outstanding issues.
I thank everyone who has supported me throughout. YOU ARE TREMENDOUS!
The full judgment is below.
My case is scheduled for a two-day hearing in the High Court, London, on October 17 and October 18, 2023 in Hemming vs Poulton.
I am representing myself. This is the first time ever.
There are a number of important reasons for this and all will be explained at the appropriate point.
Thank you to so many kind, generous and able people who have supported me throughout this.
However you have supported me, it all counts. It has got me here.
Literally can't believe this journey. It's notable in my lifetime. None of this is by accident.
"There is no story without struggle," - Afeni Shakur
Love you. Thank you.
UPDATE: Five days after the deadline noted in my last entry (below this entry and dated Monday, August 21, 2023), ex-MP John Hemming has informed me that he has made representation to the High Court and intends to pursue the action against me in one form or another.
This is an interesting development and I must be careful what I say here so as not to interfere with the due process.
Let's just say, for now, that I am looking forward to seeing how this progresses.
I want to assure my brilliant supporters that I am not fazed, I've experienced 3 years of litigation and know what I am dealing with now. Thank God. I am ready and willing to robustly challenge both existing and any future claims from Mr. Hemming.
Date set for our next hearing: High Court, London, October 17 and 18, 2023.
Again, thank you to my supporters, you are here with me every step of the way - in a multitude of forms and they all count - and I don’t take any of that for granted. Forward. X
Today marks three years since ex-MP John Hemming - and his friend and colleague, Samuel Collingwood-Smith - began litigating against me.
The first lawsuit from Mr. Hemming, which is still ongoing, claimed I had defamed him. I maintain I did not.In turn, I have a harassment claim against Mr. Smith and Mr. Hemming.
The stamped Order gave Mr. Hemming until last Friday, August 18th, to respond to the ruling (known as a ‘stay’) should he wish to pursue this new lawsuit against me.
The deadline passed. No response was forthcoming. (See update above dated: August 24, 2023).
At this stage, Mr. Hemming’s newest lawsuit - this one regarding my film ‘Paedophiles in Parliament (2018)' - will not proceed.
This is fantastic news, on a number of important fronts, and without wishing to prejudice live proceedings I will save that explanation for another day.
As always, I want to thank everyone who has supported my journey, I simply could not have got through this legal system without you. You are priceless and I appreciate you dearly.
I said I would keep my funders updated and that is what I shall do.
My 'failure' to agree to a settlement in Hemming vs Poulton has been followed by another lawsuit from ex-MP John Hemming who has now filed a GDPR claim against my 2018 film 'Paedophiles in Parliament'.
If people can't see what is happening to me I don't know what to tell you.
Please support my Fighting Fund and thank you to everyone who already has. Truth will out.
For almost 3 years I've suffered litigation Hell.
A High Court judge described some actions towards me as: “unreasonable & oppressive.”
A PDF of that Judgement is below at the entry dated June 11, 2021.
The case continues.
I’ve been litigated into silence, under advice, and it’s made me ill.
I believe that the best disinfectant is sunlight. Here's a legal update.
I've just had another attempt to settle this lawsuit with Mr. Hemming and Mr. Smith, as requested.
Failure to settle was followed by two new baseless legal claims against me, from parties involved with them.
On the same day as the two legal threats were sent to me, an approach was made, behind my back, to someone who has funded me and whom is a witness for my case. This, of course, is deeply problematic.
I cannot say more at this point as it pertains to a live case, but surely people can see what is happening to me. I hope so.
With the knowledge of my lawyers, I attempted to negotiate this recent settlement myself.
This was to save public funds for other areas of the litigation, if necessary.
I have now taken my lawyers, Simons Muirhead and Burton, off the record temporarily.
This is to re-direct (to me) the frequent unsolicited correspondence, that my lawyers HAD to read (and then charge me, obviously) - whether it directly had to do with the live case or not - and because they are regulated to do so.
The people behind the majority of the correspondence are not regulated and it costs them little to send.
It has cost 10s of thousands for lawyers to respond on my behalf. If they hadn't I'd be in a truly bad place by now.
See my video of March 2023 for more details about this – link below.
I decided to take my lawyers off-record to halt the depletion of my funds, to stop accruing bills and in order to save for more pressing matters EG: the next court hearing in Hemming vs Poulton in the High Court on October 17 and 18, 2023 with Mr. Justice Nicklin, as well as dealing with any other issues in the meantime.
Regarding Hemming vs Poulton entries on this page...I have only written about major events in the case on this Fighting Fund page, mostly because almost every entry result in a legal threat to my lawyers - which costs more money, drains my legal fund even more.
It has forced me into silence but that impacts my ability to protect myself and it stops today.
The legal process promises open transparency and, within the bounds of that, it is absolutely right that I update this page and give people an insight into what happens that is appropriate to this case and may impact this case.
The reality is, I must be able to protect myself and have faith that eventually the fullness of it will be seen in open court.
So, from now on, I shall include more relevant information here of what is happening, so people can see what I must endure and how it’s a damn miracle that I’m still standing.
If you are able, I still need financial support for the next hearing, another threatened application & with more threats in the works.
At the top of the page is my Fighting Fund details.
For obvious reasons I can’t trust Go Fund Me (or any open funding system) because I can guarantee that it will be closed.
Most people know the problems with these sites by now.
Therefore, I have no choice but to have a private FF.
All money goes into a unique and separate FF account and there will be full transparency of finances at the end of litigation.
Thank you to everyone who has helped me so far. It means the world.
I literally would not have been able to defend myself to this point and at a time when I was overwhelmed.
What I have experienced for almost three years is detrimental to me, my life and my work and I will no longer suffer it in silence.
I need the type of protection that only light can bring.
"The Claimant (Smith) maintains the 17.10 e-mail is “without prejudice” and so inadmissible. The Defendants (Butt) dispute this." (Para 3 judgment below).
7. The Claimant replied at 18.29 marking his e-mail “without prejudice”. He acknowledges Mr Butt’s e-mail and the removal of the video but comments that this “only mitigates the damages. I can still sue you for the original version as well as your accomplice, Sonia”.
“Sonia” is Sonia Poulton, the former Second Defendant in this case. The letter goes on to suggest that Ms Poulton was likely to be “bankrupted” in the context of other litigation so the Claimant felt he need not personally take up any action [by implication for the video] against her. However, the Claimant “reserve[ed] the right to issue my claim later, for example after a more expanse Pre-action Letter”. There is then gratuitous comment about the other litigation between Ms Poulton and a Third Party.
8. Mr Hirst describes the Claimant’s 18.29 reply as a “potential concession” in that the Claimant was indicating that he might not sue Sonia Poulton and not issue his claim straight away. Mr Hirst realistically describes references to chances of settlement between Ms Poulton and a third party in other litigation having slipped away as mere “ruminating”. Accordingly, he submits, the Claimant had conceded the without prejudice nature of “the exchange and made admissions against his interest, not least by entertaining the prospect of settlement”.
First of all - THANK YOU for all your kind messages and amazing support, emotional and financial - I am truly grateful for the help I have received.
This is an update regarding a court hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London yesterday re: Hemming vs Poulton.
The hearing was adjourned but there were a number of issues that I shall address here not only because this is a matter of public interest (ex-MP vs journalist) but because I have a duty to my supporters to not only update them but to also maintain the importance of open justice.
Mr. Hemming was represented in court by barrister Matthew Hodson (who previously represented him when I won a cost order against Hemming last year).
Mr. Hodson according to his description at Gatehouse Chambers is: "recognised for his expertise in commercial, private client and employment law."
My barrister, Richard Munden of 5RB, is a defamation specialist which is appropriate given Hemming's case against me is for defamation.
From the off, Mr. Hodson sought to mischaracterise me and undermine me describing me as someone who "Holds herself out as a journalist."
What made this description even more absurd was when it became very clear that Mr. Hodson's argument was based on me being an actual journalist - and the responsibilities that accompany that.
His argument was disjointed and did not reflect the reality of who I am and what I stand for.
I was of the mind that it had to be corrected in open court that I am, indeed, a journalist.
Richard Munden addressed this with Master Brown who was presiding.
The Master agreed with Mr. Munden and did not object to the correction.
I have 30 plus years of exposing numerous corruptions & matters of public interest - both in mainstream and alternative media - including TV, radio, print and on the internet - my extensive work speaks for itself.
I am an old hand at being called everything under the sun - and given the work I do and the amount of enemies I make, I accept that - but people cannot be allowed to spread provable misinformation in a court room.
The issue was addressed and I was fine with it.
However, there was one issue that I was not fine with and remain disturbed by.
Prior to yesterday, my legal team had been very clear there should be no form of communication in court between Mr. Hemming and I. Of course I agreed. Any unsolicited approaches from claimant to defendant, and vice versa, can rightly be interpreted as interference and intimidation.
At one stage my team and I were permitted to leave the court room to discuss the hearing, Hemming and Hodson also left the court room for a client-barrister chat.
As we were heading back in, Mr. Hodson approached Richard Munden for a heads-up of what we had decided.
Then, completely unexpectedly, Mr. Hemming, in my opinion, lost control.
He approached me and started to berate and blame me for us being there.
To be clear:
I never pursued Mr. Hemming
I did not call for this hearing - he did
I am not the one attempting to add other people's tweets into this lawsuit
I will not be gaslighted by anyone into believing I am to 'blame' for this
Six people witnessed what happened. I made it clear to Hemming that his behaviour was completely inappropriate as did Muhammad Butt, CEO of Brand New Tube, to Matthew Hodson.
Legal situations can be fraught but inappropriate & emotional behaviour, which I felt was both threatening and intimidating, will not be tolerated and the Court will be made aware for future reference.
It was interesting to note that Samuel Collingwood Smith - Mr. Hemming's friend who has been heavily involved in this civil case against me (frequently describing it in joyful terms such as 'bring it on') was absent from yesterday's proceedings.
Mr. Smith, despite his bravado, had been forced to drop his defamation lawsuit against me although my case against him remains active and growing.
Smith's absence was considered unusual given he enthusiastically publishes words on the internet about his various legal cases (he's not a lawyer or a legal blogger but anyone can represent themselves in a legal case and can also self-publish their own account of that). I later discovered that he already informed the Master that he would not be attending due to a medical appointment.
For the avoidance of doubt, this Fighting Fund update is published due to public interest. My desire is for this information to continue to be aired in open court so the public can be fully aware of what has taken place, and what continues to take place.
I haven’t updated this Fighting Fund page since September 2021.
Mostly because I haven’t had anything major to update about.
Now I do.
As some of you may know (and some of you very kindly contributed to defending me) I have been in litigation with ex-MP John Hemming since he decided to sue me in August 2020.
More details on this page.
Now, Mr. Hemming has decided to substantially update his lawsuit and has applied to add more High Court claims against me, including charges of malice.
Obviously, I cannot go into great detail, but I deny all accusations and can tell you they involve my Fighting Fund and 2 tweets written by other people that did not mention Mr. Hemming and were not about him.
So, I am now facing another costly hearing to oppose John Hemming from suing me for further issues and what appears to be another way to deplete me and my resources.
Therefore, I am appealing once again for help. I cannot do this on my own. I have been blessed to receive the support I have, from both my supporters and Brand New Tube, and I hate having to ask again but I must.
So, if you value my work and you feel able to support me in my legal fight then any amount is appreciated.
Paypal and my bank details are below.
The type of work I do naturally generate enemies and so my Fighting Fund will always remain ongoing.
This Summer I have had an opportunity to reflect on this last year and to assess if I am using my time, energy, attention and the funds donated to me to the best use. I have reached a series of conclusions.As people know, I have been embroiled in legal disputes for the last year. One of those disputes has now ended. My court case involving Darren Laverty has been settled. It was made plain to me that even if I won at trial - and there was no guarantee of such - I would not be able to recover the significant sums of money spent on legal costs. It was therefore decided to end litigation on both sides. For legal reasons I am not able to comment further but I am truly grateful for the support I have been shown.
On Monday this week we had a remote Costs hearing with Deputy Master Bard at the High Court.
This was to determine who pays whose costs for the two recent applications.
A reminder. One application was from ex-MP Mr. John Hemming - who sought summary judgment/strikeout against me (more details in the posts below).
The second application, from Mr. Darren Laverty, who had been added into the counterclaim to sue me and he was seeking costs against me. Mr. Laverty had hoped to sue me for harassment, but all eight incidents were knocked out. Leaving just one point of defamation regarding a James English podcast.
“This attempt to produce a counterclaim was ambitious and over extensive,” commented the Judge.
The upshot, of course, as my barrister, Richard Munden, stated was: “Miss Poulton has been put to serious expense and should be entitled to those costs.”
It turns out the Judge agreed with us.
I am delighted to say BOTH costs order were made in my favour with 85% of my costs for the Hemming v Poulton hearing ordered by the Judge to be repaid to me.
In addition, the Judge found that I had been ‘substantially successful’ in defending myself against Mr. Laverty’s claim and costs were awarded to me there, as well.
Which means that Mr. Laverty is to pay me £6k at this stage and Mr. Hemming £8k plus VAT.
Given that none of this would’ve been possible without my Fighting Fund I first of all must say THANK YOU.
It’s vital to acknowledge what this has meant to me and what your contributions have enabled to happen.
Fact is, I simply could not have defended myself without the help I have been afforded. It has been phenomenal.
At a time when I was struggling to keep my head above water, and also embarrassed to have to admit to people I needed help, I reached out and YOU reached back.
I started this Fighting Fund not just because of this situation but to protect what I do moving forward given the precarious place I find myself in where people are looking to come after me and my work.
I also know it is vital that I am as transparent as possible. Which is difficult when you have a Fighting Fund that is not visible (for reasons explained in posts below).
Here’s the next plan.
Once the money is paid to me, it will go towards legal bills already accrued.
As you read this, I am continuing to raise funds for the next stage of this legal journey. Literally, anything helps and I receive it with much appreciation. Thank you.
It’s taken me a few days to gather my thoughts and fully digest what took place on Monday.
Some of the knowledgeable and wise comments the Judge made about behaviour, language and issues with the legal dispute made for very interesting listening and confirmed what many observers already believed.
And he sent out a warning shot that these legal disputes must not be used to 'oppress'.
The Judge has taken time to go deeply into this claim looking at all sides and at a multitude of documents.
I have a great deal of respect for any judge who is prepared to go into their work with such depth in order to be able to understand context and nuance of arguments involving matters of significant public interest.
I will be careful what I write here because it’s important that this situation goes through the appropriate channels, without any interference, until it reaches satisfactory conclusion.
I also ask anyone reading this to please be aware this is a live case when talking/writing about it.
It’s my experience that some people look for any reason to report me to authorities, even for things that have nothing to do with me. That’s why I turn my comments off on social media because nothing must be allowed to obstruct this process.
So, what I write here is a brief overview rather than a deep dive.
That time will come in the future.
Monday’s hearing was the whole day. We listened as my brilliant barrister, Richard Munden of 5RB, continued to defend me in a way I have rarely heard anyone defend me. (At this point it would be utterly remiss to fail to mention the wonderful support I have received from Brand New Tube and Muhammad Butt who, frankly, is an absolute gem).
Equally, I am utterly grateful to my lawyers, Simons, Muirhead and Burton who brilliantly instructed Mr. Munden.
Of course, as it’s a court hearing, albeit remote, there must be no recording other than by the Judge, and so I reverted to early secretarial days and touch typed at high speed as the hearing progressed. (I didn’t manage to get to my personal best of 120 wpm but it wasn’t through lack of trying).
I am learning so much about law, about justice - and they are not always the same thing - about the insanity of humanity, frankly.
In this case, there are a number of troubling issues that are capable of impacting more than me and people should be aware of them.
The reality is, litigation is not for the faint-hearted but when you receive acknowledgement and a sense of justice, it is like a soother to the soul. That is how I feel about what happened on Monday. I am humbled to be the recipient of it.
Thank you for making that possible.
Just a brief update. First of all, thank you once again for continuing to support my Fighting Fund. It really means the world to me.
I have found myself in a tricky place where I daren't have a public fund (it will be attacked, my Fighting Fund is already under pressure from some quarters) and so I am unable to keep people updated with what we have in terms of funds coming in.
Usually, it's the funds visibly growing that can spur people on to donate. Unfortunately, we live in a world where it is so easy to get your funding shut down and, given the evidence we have of what is being done against me, a public Go Fund Me would be the first thing to be attacked.
So, it is, that I have to keep my funding private. Certainly, for the time being.
I don't need to tell people that legal assistance is expensive so our fund is ongoing and any amount is appreciated.
We have another court hearing on Monday and I will update here ASAP.
Here's a video I did covering the recent judgment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgQbkQEC2M8
Again, I appreciate your support greatly. The financial support, the emotional support and the psychological support.
I didn't ask for this experience but, seeing as it's here, I am so unbelievably relieved that people have come out to show me what my work means. Thank you, dearly, I simply could not have done this without you. Have a wonderful weekend.
June 11, 2021
My Friends (and even my enemies) –
The High Court has handed down judgment today in Hemming vs Poulton and I am delighted to say that Ex-Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming has been refused Summary Judgment/Strikeout. We proceed to trial.
My magnificent barrister, Richard Munden of 5RB, defeated the Claimant’s application and emerged victorious from the Hearing on April 30, 2021.
As those in attendance at the virtual hearing can attest, Richard is incredibly skilled and gifted at his work. It’s practically art.
There are not enough words of appreciation in the English language for me to adequately describe how I feel about the legal team I have been blessed with.
Who, incidentally, has expanded to include Jeffrey Smele and Andrew Wheelhouse of Simons Muirhead and Burton, my lawyers, who are now instructing Mr. Munden.
It follows, then, before I say anymore I must thank everyone who has helped me get to this point. I am fairly certain I would be looking at a completely different outcome today if I had not had the good fortune of such kindness and generosity from people.
Many are people I don’t know and have never met but who have shown me faith, love, support and trust to enable me to be able to summon the type of help that makes a real difference in situations like this.
I knew Richard Munden was absolutely speaking for me - and for people who support me - when he talked at the hearing about the importance of our Society being able to talk about allegations of child abuse and particularly when it pertains to people in positions of power. Of which the Judge agreed.
So, as I say, we are heading to trial.
I always believed we should. I didn't start this action but seeing as it arrived on my plate I have no alternative but to deal with it.
Fact is, we’re talking about a former MP (whose Twitter image says ‘JohnHemming4MP’ so it’s fair to assume he hopes to re-enter politics and therefore influence the public arena again) and me, a journalist & broadcaster who works in the public interest.
In his application, Mr. Hemming wanted:
1. Summary judgement of his defamation case against me. (Translation: for the hearing to find I had libelled him and award him damages without a full trial).
He further wanted:
2. My harassment claim against him to be struck out either partially or completely. (Translation: for the Judge to remove him from my harassment counterclaim and leave his two associates behind, or to get rid of my harassment claim against all three of them completely).
The judgment is available to view in PDF at the bottom of this segment.
I ask that you take time to read it, if you are able, it is insightful of what has been happening over the last eight months – and more.
It only tells part of the story because, as explained, this was Mr. Hemming’s application and therefore the judgment only covers the allegations of harassment against him. There is much more to be explored at full trial.
But this is not just about an ex-MP and a journalist – it is more than that.
This covers a multitude of issues including: publishing on You Tube and other video-sharing platforms (who owns what, who is responsible for what), the role of politicians and journalists in public life, the importance of being able to discuss child abuse allegations in the British Establishment, inappropriate litigation and what may or may not constitute harassment.
For ease of reference, the judgment covers eight issues which were under consideration (including my harassment claim):
The meaning of the words I spoke and which Mr. Hemming took exception to
Who is responsible for ‘the extent of publication’?
Has it caused serious harm?
Is it the truth?
Or an opinion?
Is it in the public interest?
Were Mr. Hemming’s data protection rights breached by being mentioned in a podcast?
All questions that people should consider more in this age when we can publish our own work.
The judgment refers throughout to my 2018 documentary ‘Paedophiles in Parliament’ – in which Mr. Hemming is featured - although the film is not what I am being sued for.
Mr. Hemming’s libel case against me involves a podcast interview I gave to You Tuber Shaun Attwood in 2019 about ‘Paedophiles in Parliament’. A small part, of which, Mr. Attwood asked me about Mr. Hemming.
I was cautious in my response. As the judgment makes clear.
The Judgment supports me:
"I conclude that the Defendant has a real prospect of showing that the words used, taken "as a whole", show that the Defendant was "reporting the story" in a journalistic context, but without actually adopting or endorsing the accusations, and indeed with an express disclaimer of any adoption of Ms Baker's allegations."
Shaun Attwood has not been sued over this podcast.
In considering the application, the Judge read the entire transcript of my podcast with Shaun Attwood (some two and a half hours long!) entitled "Prince Andrew, Epstein, Savile and McCann Part 1: Sonia Poulton - True Crimes Video 59", he said I express myself:
“…forthrightly and with considerable confidence when dealing with the people whose names appear in the title, and with some of the other individuals who form the subject of discussion. I do not comment here on the nature or likely accuracy of all the claims that she makes: suffice it so that many of them would be widely regarded as highly controversial.”
They would indeed and that is because I investigate and talk about what our mainstream/legacy media won’t.
Controversial doesn’t mean untrue. On the contrary, my work is evidence-based.
It is wonderful that a High Court Judge has read what many know to be serious injustices regarding the British Establishment but are forbidden from reporting on for one political reason or another.
The Judgment describes me variously, including that I:
“…considers it important to investigate and report sexual abuse (including paedophilia), and indeed allegations of sexual abuse which she considers may be of substance, so as to ensure that the voices of victims are not silenced, and particularly so where she perceives an issue of holding the powerful to account.”
Mr. Hemming is disputing that such work could be considered ‘journalism’ – and so therefore not subject to certain journalistic exemptions. I shan’t go into detail what I have said privately about that but suffice it to say I do not agree and we will continue to oppose it.
Regarding the issue of whether this is a matter of public interest or not, the judgment states: “The Particulars provided are in my judgment capable of going to both the assertion that the words concerned a matter of public interest, and the belief - and its reasonableness - that publishing them was in the public interest.”
“The Defendant has repeatedly put forward her case that this interview and its publication were for the purposes of journalism, and she acknowledges that the Video was to be published, she explains the substantial public interest (such as giving a voice to those who have been abused and holding the powerful to account) which made it necessary for her to speak out on these matters. She has a real prospect of success on all of these.”
The final point under consideration in the judgment is my harassment claim against Mr. Hemming.
Some 23 incidents of harassment are alleged featuring the three men, some individually some together.
The judgment tackles several of the incidences of alleged harassment which included a video made by Samuel Collingwood Smith – who uses the name 'Matthew Hopkins, Witchfinder General' – and which John Hemming “was party to”, an email from Hemming on October 20, 2020 “telling her that she was under police investigation for many offences, including malicious communications over her "apparent attempt to procure the murder of a law graduate who is assisting as my lay advisor" (meaning Samuel Collingwood Smith)..."
The judgment gives several examples of alleged harassment.
As at the hearing, the Judge is particularly alarmed by an email that Mr. Hemming sent to my then solicitor Blake O’Donnell.
“I regard it as at least properly arguable that the matters alleged against the Claimant, taken together, are capable of amounting to a course of conduct of harassment by him, intended (at least in part) to pressure the Defendant into silencing herself, which involved a mixture of threats (in relation to legal proceedings and otherwise), criticisms, and pressure on her legal representatives - and, for the avoidance of doubt, this latter is capable of constituting harassment regardless of whether or not the legal representatives do withdraw. I add that I would not find it hard to attach the label "oppressive and unreasonable" or "oppressive and unacceptable" to the email of 5 November 2020 sent by the Claimant to the Defendant's solicitor, warning about his personal parliamentary aspirations.”
A further application was heard by the Judge today from Darren Laverty (who I am suing on the counterclaim with allegations of events going back to 2013). Mr. Laverty attempted to sue me on nine different points.
Mr. Laverty has been assisted in his claim by Mr. Smith and supported by Mr. Hemming. That's the three men I am suing in the harassment claim. I echo the judgment here:
"It is apparent that, at any rate in recent years, (Mr. Hemming) and (Samuel Collingwood Smith) and (Darren Laverty) have been in some communication with one another, and have to some extent supported and assisted one another in various activities, not least litigation."
Every one of Mr. Laverty's claims of harassment were thrown out (variously described by the judge as 'ridiculous' and more, including the idea that I can be responsible for the actions of a newspaper). One claim survived the cull (an interview in which I did not name him), that remained. This was expected. I had been made aware at the outset that it would be highly unusual if Mr. Laverty would not be allowed into the claim given I am suing him.
Regardless, we expected all this. Today is still a great day and no amount of actions will distract from that.
Certainly there will be people over the coming days and weeks who will seek to distort this judgment, but it’s unequivocal.
This is a resounding success for my wonderful team, you amazing funders, the brilliant BNT (and in particular Mr. Muhammad Butt who has supported me throughout), for the public interest and for the importance of being able to discuss issues beyond one man and one woman. This involves Establishment politics, media and law. We must be allowed to fully and transparently tackle these issues and this judgment supports that in no small way.
I appreciate your continued support, I literally cannot do this without you. Thank you.
Over the last few months I have referred to ‘invisible hands’ and that is what I have been experiencing.
Here is one example that I wish to address.
Earlier this year, I was alerted that I had, in error, said the first names of two children (from a case a few years back) in a podcast with Shaun Attwood contrary to reporting restrictions.
I gave a voluntary interview to the police about it – during which time I was commended in front of two witnesses for my work to do with child safeguarding – and made my position clear.
That was over two months ago and we’ve heard nothing since. Which doesn’t mean we won’t but I felt the need to say this because my enemies want to use this one incident, in 30 years of journalism, to stop me doing what I do: raising attention to serious matters of public interest. I will fight that tooth and nail because my reputation is worth defending.
I want to thank Muhammad Butt of BNT for paying for that criminal defence for the interview. I didn't use the Fighting Fund for it, although I have a feeling if I asked my supporters they would be more than happy for me to do so. Maybe not all, but some certainly would once the full details were known. And the FULL DETAILS are very interesting, and important, indeed.
Either way, no money from my Fighting Fund was used for that purpose.
I feel the need to clarify this issue. I won't address everything that is said about me but this particular thing I need to.
I will talk more about it at a later stage. It’s a story with many parts and they are not immediately obvious but let’s say there has been inordinate pressure applied with the aim of charging me. My enemies are busy and I know who they are.
I am reminded, in an interesting turn of events, of the adage: "be careful when you set out to destroy your enemy that you don’t, in turn, destroy yourself.”
I can’t believe it’s a week since the High Court hearing regarding my case involving an ex-MP. I’m still shell-shocked by proceedings.
In particular, how much was said in open court about what has happened to me, and those around me including those who hire me and those who legally represent me, by an ex-MP and his associates.
There was the email the ex-MP sent to my former solicitor (and described by the judge as ‘troubling’) which the ex-MP’s own barrister said: “talks about what he can do in terms of adversely affecting prospects” regarding my former solicitor’s political career. There was the issue of my pregnant barrister quitting three hours after she was directly threatened and a video that contained an ‘implicit threat’ to me. And these were just for starters.
Many people tweeting struggled to believe what had been happening regarding me over the last few months.
From my perspective, I felt personally vindicated.
I even felt if the whole proceedings stopped there I would be able to live with it given HOW MUCH was said in open court.
For my part, it’s a weird thing to hear yourself and your work being discussed in the High Court and to be scrutinised to the degree that I heard at the hearing. Mostly, I was happy with it. There were basic things I would’ve corrected but nothing that cannot wait until a full trial.
Fact is, despite how my enemies seek to portray me, I have been reminded by my supporters how proud I am of what I do - and I intend to continue. I just needed some time out first.
I have much more to say about the hearing and I will once the appropriate legal stages are completed. We are currently waiting for the judge – Deputy Master Bard – to give us his decision whether the ex-MP has succeeded in his application.
Which is: 1. To give him summary judgement against me in his claim that I have defamed him and 2. To strike out my harassment counterclaim against him and two of his associates.
As it became clear in the hearing, I have not done the things I have been accused of. Despite the ex-MP taking to Twitter the day after the hearing and continuing to lie that I want to repeat false allegations. I certainly do not and that was not what my brilliant barrister Richard Munden was arguing for. (Who, incidentally, was utterly magnificent to watch such a pro in action. Can't fully articulate how grateful I am to you lovely people who funded such tremendous representation).
The hearing was remote and well-attended. Members of the public had come to me and I passed them to the Court Clerk who arranged access to the meeting. I am so grateful that there were all those witnesses there including journalists who are following events.
Witnesses are important because they notice strange things like the person who was caught filming at the outset (despite it being Contempt of Court to do so) and such things like the ex-MPs barrister apparently using 'Alexa' to answer questions. We all heard that because the voice sparked into life during proceedings much to the concern of the judge and those present.
The implications of all this and more to be explored fully at a later date. But, for now, here are some of the other things we took a way.
The Judge made it clear throughout that there were issues arising from both the claim and counter claim that were unsuitable for summary judgement and strike out and, in fact, he told us at the end of the hearing that he ‘was minded’ to give us his judgement there and then and give us the reasons why later. He asked our legal representatives to consult with us about what we would prefer.
Turned out it was one of the few things that the ex-MP and I agree on and we both chose to have the answer and reasons at the same time. Deputy Master Bard said it would be 2-3 weeks.
So, for now, this update is more of a ‘hello, I survived that and my mind has been blown by what I have witnessed and experienced’.
I also want to continue to send thanks to everyone who has helped me by donating, by sending supportive words, by posting public support, by tweeting (Object! – the campaign group – live tweeted the hearing all day in a stunning and committed fashion), by being at the hearing, by reporting on it and having the details be known. All of it helps a person when they have felt under siege.
Throughout this dispute, my opponents have tried to intimidate me with the fact that the ex-MP is a millionaire. I have been repeatedly warned to ‘give up’ ‘quit’ or be ‘overwhelmed’ due to my lack of funds. They told me this in blogs, they told me this in videos and they told me this in emails.
In fact, at the hearing, the ex-MP’s barrister tried to use my Fighting Fund - the one many of you donated to - against me. (I was shocked. Not). He said it was a campaign based on the truth - which was apparently problematic. Well, yeah, duh. That’s our thing around here. As much of an issue as it may be to some.
To be clear, my Fighting Fund is not – and never was – just about this current case. I explained at the beginning that it was about establishing a legal fund that would protect me as my work tackling injustices became even more well-known, my enemies became even more powerful and what I stand for became even more troubling for some people.
So, yes, so much more to say. It was a truly eventful hearing including the judge making clear that he had issues with the ex-MP emailing him at 5.30am on the morning of the hearing with videos and irrelevant quotes about me. (“Not an altogether desirable course of action”). Moves like that don’t impress judges and it tells the rest of us so much more about the people involved.
So, thank you all. I appreciate you for getting me this far. My fund is ongoing. Details are below. As soon as news comes through about the judge's decision, I will update you. Have a great day!
What an experience and a journey this is.
In recent times, I’ve seen some of the worst of humanity and some of the best.
When I launched my Fighting Fund at the start of this month (see post below), I did it with great fear and trepidation.
To make such personally sensitive issues so public, was hard to do. It made me feel vulnerable.
And you know what?
I’m glad I did it. The response has been amazing. It touched me deeply - and that has empowered me.
I really needed that strength and particularly given all the constant moving parts that are going on around me and involving me.
Here's one example.
This Friday I have a remote hearing. It is in the High Court and is open to the public.
An ex-MP is suing me for defamation (which I deny) and I, in turn, am countersuing him for harassment - and two of his associates, too.
The ex-MP, who will be representing the Lib-Dems at the next election, hopes to be returned to Parliament.
It is his desire that we don’t have a full court trial regarding our litigation.
His wish, and which we are opposing this Friday, is to give him a summary judgement and to also strikeout my harassment claim.
Of course I am opposing it all.
I believe this is a matter of public interest and requires a full trial so that the facts can be fully examined.
As an ex-MP, with the aim of being an MP again, and, I, as a journalist who reports on corruption and abuse within the British Establishment, I can’t see how it can’t be in the public interest not to have a full trial involving two people who are in the public eye. That is transparency and we need that more than ever these days.
But these things are not up to me.
All we can do is the best we can - and trust that whatever the outcome, I am exactly where I am meant to be.
Now here’s the great stuff. That Fighting Fund I launched, and to which many of you were able to respond....
Well, thank you. I mean that with bells on.
It has changed so much for me, including much that I can’t even talk about right now - but I will.
But it means the Sun, Moon, Earth and Stars to me. And anything else of great worth you might want to fling in.
I’m a ‘jobbing journalist’. My income comes in and it goes straight back out again.
I have not become financially wealthy from doing my work and that is fine by me. It is not my priority to have excess money.
The only thing about money is you are forced to realise the importance of it when your problem is one that money can help to resolve. Such as, for example, being able to secure fantastic representation.
I’ve had the absolute pleasure of being able to take guidance from Richard Munden of 5RB who will be representing me at the hearing. To be clear. When it comes to barristers - and particularly defamation, harassment and data – 5RB is right there at the top of the legal food chain. Including representing JK Rowling, Meghan Markle, Wayne Rooney and so many others.
And Richard, in such a short period of time, has gone above and beyond to assist me. I feel blessed and appreciative.
That level of expertise, given everything that has been going on around me, is the type of representation I need.
So much to say, so much that has to be held off for now.
But somethings are vital to say...my gratitude for the financial donations, the wonderful emails, messages, tweets and inbox messages is beyond mere words.
People coming together to show me what my work means is one of the most heartwarming experiences I’ve had in years.
It actually gave me light when much around me seemed troublingly dark and sinister. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
My Fighting Fund is ongoing because it has to be.
If I’ve learnt anything over the last few months it’s that if you are to be in with even a winning shout of justice, you have to find a way to fund it. I refused to launch a crowdfunder, or similar, because as previously explained it would certainly be attacked and probably closed down.
Account No. 03215652
Sort Code 20-25-25The IBAN is: GB64 BUKB 20252503215652
When it comes to support, I must again say thank you to Brand New Tube who have been incredible.
I have done two seasons of my Friday night livestream - The Raw Report - produced by them and their kindness and support in this has been brilliant. Beyond brilliant. Out of this World. I love those people and will repay their kindness and support.
And then there is you. Helping me out. In all sorts of ways. From financial, physical and material to psychological and emotional.
Stuff like that keeps people going. Thank you, dearly.
As many know, I have temporarily pulled back from my journalistic and broadcasting work.
This is primarily for two reasons:
1. Because I am currently being sued by two men (including an ex-MP) and I am suing three men for harassment (the ex-MP on a counterclaim with two associates included) and I need time to prepare.
2. Because of the stress caused to my health.
This post is not about the current cases because they are live proceedings and I do not wish to harm that in any way.
I want to proceed to full trial so the truth may be heard.
This page is about reaching out to protect myself and the work I do in the long term.
It is about establishing a Fighting Fund to protect and defend me over the coming years.
I have to be careful what I write, but it is a fact that some of my enemies - and I have quite a few these days - are relentlessly targeting me. I am watched 24-7. This is not an exaggeration but a frightening reality.
It is scary and creepy and the police are failing to protect me from those who have expressed an intention to cause harm to me.
Even with evidence I have been left vulnerable and forced to protect myself.
The facts behind these words will become evident over the coming weeks and months.
If you feel inclined to contribute, please do so above. Any amount helps and is appreciated.
More of what has been going on...
It is not just the police I am repeatedly reported to, but to private individuals and their advisors.
A number of complaints have been sent to Carter Ruck, for one example.
Carter Ruck, for those who don’t know, is the powerful UK libel lawyers who famously represent Kate and Gerry McCann.
My enemies work hard contacting anyone they feel may have an interest in suing and pursuing me at home and abroad.
They contact my livestream guests and smear me with the aim of having people pull out.
They contact people who have hired me and they lie and threaten them into dropping me.
The desperation to harm me - and in a multitude of ways - is obvious to all who have come back to tell me what has happened behind my back. It has gone on for too long and it must stop. I am now prepared to fully fight back.
It has been an onslaught - mental, emotional and physical - but I am still here.
I have been supported throughout the current legal challenge by the remarkable people at Brand New Tube, I am overwhelmed by what they have done for me. I have worked with them for less than a year but they have shown more loyalty than companies I have worked with for a decade.
BNT is a young, British-based video sharing platform that was launched in May 2020 with the express aim of giving a voice to those who were denied such by Big Tech - and particularly by the totalitarian You Tube.
BNT launched and the development was underway when they approached me to co-host a weekly livestream – and then it all kicked off.
Some of my enemies - aware that I had found a new platform - targeted BNT, too.
In the last few months BNT have been to hell and back.
All of it will come out in due course.
BNT is made up of individuals who have put themselves on the line.
I can’t thank them enough. They have proven to be unique in the cutthroat media world I inhabit.
They are unusual in this and the platform must be protected.
I am proud of The Raw Report – our Friday night livestream on Brand New Tube.
We have just completed the second series and the buzz grows week on week.
Our guests are engaging, varied and come from all walks of life from Hollywood actors to activists campaigning to protect brutalised young people. It’s about people who put their heads above parapets. Regardless of the personal cost.
I believe there is nothing out there like it and we will continue to develop it – despite obstacles aimed to stop us.
For three decades I have been on television and radio but, as I became increasingly questioning of mainstream agendas and narratives, I have found myself at odds with those who run mainstream media.
To stay in mainstream media you must not rock the boat. You must conform regardless. I can’t do that. I was made to rock boats. Besides, staying in mainstream media is not my goal – telling the truth is.
The type of journalism I do is not a money spinner. I’ve not grown rich from this and neither do I desire to.
I’m not in this for the money or for popularity or social media likes. My work means something to me.
I do not create clickbait content or seek to glorify survivors of sex abuse or to make money off the back of misery.
I do my work because I hope to even up the odds for people who routinely do not have a voice.
But it is my lack of funds to defend myself that my growing list of enemies hope will deny me justice.
I will fight tooth and nail not to fall into that trap.
In 2021 telling the truth as a journalist is an occupational hazard that many now choose to avoid. Not me. I can’t.
I am proud to have stuck my neck out over the years about many topics including the contaminated blood scandal, cruel welfare reforms, dismantling of the NHS, establishment corruption, child abuse.
And, as many know, I have also been prepared to challenge the big stories be that the disappearance of Madeleine McCann or investigating the rumours of paedophiles within the British Establishment.
(Which, while I’m on it, please seek out and download my documentaries before they are subject to further attack and possible deletion. There is an ongoing campaign to close my You Tube channel which contains them.
Most notably ‘The McCanns and the Police’, ‘Madeleine McCann: Public Relations & Saving Reputations’, ‘Paedophiles in Parliament 2018’, ‘Drag Queen Story Hour: Child Grooming in Plain Sight?’, ‘UK Politics: Did a Paedophile Influence Children’s Policies?’ ‘The Business of Cancer’ and more).
People sometimes say to me “I don’t agree with you on everything, but I agree with you about this.”
Whatever ‘this’ is, it’s enough. We don’t have to agree on everything; indeed it would be slightly creepy if we did, but as long as we agree on the important things then that’s enough.
Sometimes I make errors, I’m human but I am quick to clear them up when there is proof that I am wrong. Unfortunately, others seek to punish me in disproportionate ways and to manipulate circumstances to do so.
A FIGHTING FUND
I have found myself in a place where multiple things are happening and are designed to harm and distress me.
The extent of behind-the-scenes manipulations mean that not only would I be unable to carry on my journalistic work but my word would count for little. Just as some want it.
Yes there really are people out there, some in powerful organisations, who want to silence and discredit me.
And you know why? Because my reputation is too good for their liking. They fear that people listen to me.
The reality is my life and work have become hazardous and I need an ongoing fighting fund just to survive it.
It’s not in my nature to ask for help, I am particularly bad at it. But needs must.
I worry about the implications of public contributions knowing my enemies will try to use it against me, but I can’t care what people who want to harm me think given that their stated aims are to bankrupt me, see me imprisoned and destroy my good reputation.
The reality is I’ve reached a place where I have no alternative.
As my name has become more synonymous with fighting against injustices, my enemies have become more powerful and embedded within the British Establishment. Not all. Some are merely foot soldiers, but dangerous and meddling ones.
This is where you may come in...
What I am facing is not a fight I can take on alone, I need to reach out to those who value what I do.
This is a request in two parts.
1. A Fighting Fund
2. Your Words of Support
This Fighting Fund started because a very kind supporter emailed me and insisted I give her my account details so she could contribute to my legal fees. I was reluctant. Nonetheless, I admitted to her I needed help and she generously did just that.
It means the world to me. But not everyone can afford to do that and neither should anyone feel any pressure to do so.
So, only contribute if: 1. You can afford to and, 2. Because you believe I deserve your support.
I will not start a Go Fund Me or anything similar because my enemies will fight to close it down, this is the reality.
Above you will find a link to my bank account (preferable) and PayPal account.
Which brings me to Point 2. Your Words of Support
Over the years I have received a significant volume of correspondence from people who have thanked me for covering their story, for helping them to better understand a situation they have found themselves in, or in shedding light on issues they seek to know more about.
I need people to do that now. I am here reaching out to you and saying if there was ever a time to protect my good name – and let it be known what I have done – it is now.
So, if you have a nice word to say about me and would be prepared for me to present as a series of statements (when needed) please do so and send to firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a fight for my survival and I will do everything I can.
Yes, it’s that serious.
I'm sorry to be so vague about what is happening but it will soon become apparent why the need to be careful.
This is unprecedented for me but then unprecedented times require unprecedented measures.
I am under no illusion that 2021 is the year that ‘they’ have come for me. And I need help.
I am prepared to break the habit of a lifetime to reach out for it.
April 6, 2021