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Riley libel trial: was it really important for Rachel Riley to comment on Mike’s article?

No – at least, not in my opinion.

But the question has been asked and should be answered: Why didn’t I contact Rachel Riley for a comment on her behaviour toward the vulnerable teenager Rose, before publishing my Serial abuser… article on January 26, 2019?

Her Counsel, John Stables, flagged up several times that: “[The defendant] admits that he asked no approach to [the claimant].”

And it is true that in the normal process of writing a news article, a reporter would seek a comment from anybody accused of wrongdoing. However, there were several elements in play at the time of the article’s publication that made this impractical.

As stated in my amended defence, “It was the defendant’s editorial judgement that the claimant should not be approached for comment. Her position had been consistently stated, not least in [a Channel 4 News broadcast, The Guardian and The Times]. In particular, in her 14 tweet barrage at 4.45pm on 15 January 2019, the claimant had vehemently denied bullying Rose whilst further attacking her. It was the defendant’s judgement that firstly, the Claimant was highly unlikely to comment, and secondly, in the event that she did she would only take the opportunity to double down in her attacks on Rose.”

I expanded on this in my witness statement: “I was aware Ms Riley had already given her side of the story in the Guardian article, an article published on January 26, 2019 by The Times newspaper and in her Fourth Thread where she denies bullying Rose whilst attacking her further. I had also seen her interview with the journalist, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, broadcast by Channel 4 News on January 9, 2019, the podcast with Mr Guru-Murthy and interview on ITV’s Lorraine on January 10, 2019 where she repeated her claim that she was getting online abuse. I had also considered the wide ranging interaction between Rose and Ms Riley in which Ms Riley had expressed her position strongly and in detail.

“I did not believe that, even had I approached Ms Riley for comment, she would have commented. I also did not want to encourage a further tirade of abuse to be hurled at Rose. Therefore, knowing that the adage that “a lie can circle the world before the truth has got its shoes on” is a truism in the modern world of the internet, I knew that an article presenting a counter-view would need to appear as soon as possible so that its impact and relevance was not lost. I therefore published my article on the same day as the Guardian article.”

My Counsel added some case law in his written closing submissions: “In Jameel (Mohammed) v Wall Street Journal Sprl… a failure to delay publication by 24 hours to allow the claimant to comment did not deprive the defendant of a … defence.

“The present case is akin to Riley v Murray where the failure to put the allegation to [the claimant] was not “particularly significant”.

And, as I mentioned with regard to Ms Riley’s denials of wrongdoing, she always had the right of reply – but simply chose not to use it.

We’re getting close to the crunch now: the new court term starts in October and I must be prepared for a judgment to be handed down at any time from the start of next week onwards.

This means I must build up funds for what I think will be an inevitable appeal (either by myself or by Ms Riley, depending on who the judge supports).

Please support my CrowdJustice fund in one or more of the following ways:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don’t forget that if you’re having trouble, or simply don’t like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

There are still a few subjects to cover – such as whether an interlocutory judgment striking out my “truth” and “honest opinion” defences constitutes a change of circumstances sufficient for me to have to change my article while the court case was still ongoing…

Or did this create a hierarchy of defences, putting the public interest defence beneath those others?

If I have the chance, I’ll tell you the arguments.

If not, we’ll have more pressing matters to discuss: the outcome of the trial and whether I need to appeal or defend myself against one by Rachel Riley.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Rachel Riley says I did not show she denied claims made against her. Is she right?

Did I really fail to include Rachel Riley’s denial of the allegations against her in my Serial abuser… article?

Her Counsel, John Stables, argued strenuously that I did fail to do so, in his closing submissions at my trial.

“Strong evidence for no consideration of the public interest in publication of the [article] arises from the absence in it of any denial by [Ms Riley]. [The defendant] says he was aware of the denial. [He] relies on [Ms Riley]’s tweet thread of 9 January 2019 … as a reason for not contacting [Ms Riley] but included nothing in the [article] reflecting that denial.

“Any consideration of the public interest in publishing the [article] would have included the need to reflect [Ms Riley]’s denial and publicly stated rebuttal of the circulating false claims.

“[The defendant] admitted in evidence that the absence of any denial was “an omission”. That “omission” by itself is strongly probative of no consideration of the issue of public interest, i.e. probative that no belief in public interest publication was formed (and is fatal to any argument of reasonable belief, as below). If [the defendant] had considered public interest he would have included a denial.

“If D knew that he had omitted a denial he made no attempt to include one at any stage.”

This point is not true. Look at the article as it appears on Vox Political at the moment and you will find an addition, dated December 7, 2019: “You may be aware that Rachel Riley disputes some of the opinions put forward in this article and is currently suing me for libel.”

Knowing this, the point made by Ms Riley’s Counsel later in his submission is also false: “The further significance of the absence of any denial by [Ms Riley] in the [article] – or any attempt to include [Ms Riley]’s side of the story … is that of misrepresentation… Nicklin J [has] held that, “It can never be in the public interest for a journalist to misrepresent in an article the information or evidence that s/he has obtained.” [The defendant]’s misrepresentation by ignoring altogether [Ms Riley]’s publicly stated position by omitting it is itself fatal to [his] defence.”

Her denial is mentioned in the article, and has been for nearly three years.

In verbal submissions, Mr Stables said: “Within the article, a very important matter is any form of denial. He says he knew the claimant denied it, and therefore did not contact her.” This is not true; in evidence, I admitted not publishing a denial of the allegations that were already known to the public (see below). It would not have been appropriate to publish a denial of something that had not been put to the claimant – that she was a hypocrite on the basis I had stated in the article.

Mr Stables then mixed up my defence by saying: “It is not an answer to say she is a hypocrite and people should know about it. The public interest is in publishing something that people should know about – in truth.” But this is attacking the truth defence and not the public interest defence. The public interest lay in publishing information demonstrating that Rachel Riley had abused and harassed a youngster, caused her to be abused and harassed, and then played the victim.

The judge, Mrs Justice Steyn, then intervened as follows: “If the defendant looked at the Guardian article and thought it necessary to put a different article out there, wouldn’t that be an honest belief it’s in the public interest to publish that article? Whether it is reasonable is a different criterion.”

Mr Stables replied, “The probative value is that no consideration was given to the public interest. The defendant said the absence of the denial was an omission, not an intention. That fits into the “no consideration” side.” And this is not true either; I could not publish a denial because Ms Riley had not made one.

But my own Counsel, David Mitchell, went further in his own closing submissions. He wrote: “It is not correct that [the defendant’s] article did not contain ‘the gist of the claimant’s side of the story’… [The defendant] immediately linked readers to [Ms Riley’s] view in The Guardian, quoted [her] words and linked [Shaun] Lawson’s first article which itself included a link to her denial of the story in [her] third thread of 09.01.19… [The defendant] was honest in accepting that it was ‘an error of omission, not of intention’ not to explicitly refer to [Ms Riley’s] denials in the body of the article.

“Of course, [Ms Riley] had a right of reply but instead ‘she hit the nuclear button and took me to court’. This [the defendant] stated was a ‘strange thing to do. Most people when they see an inconsistency contact the news organisation and talk about it’. By contrast, [Tracy-Ann] Oberman had contacted [the defendant] to object to the article. He asked for evidence that he had libelled her. She provided none, sent an insulting tweet and then issued a letter before action, but unlike [Ms Riley], did not proceed to issue a claim.”

Is that enough to demonstrate that Ms Riley’s side of the story was adequately covered? It is a matter for the judge.

While we await her verdict, donations to the CrowdJustice site have dwindled to a trickle (presumably because of the cost-of-living crisis that affects us all) so I still have to finish paying for my legal representation at the trial – and start building up funds for what I think will be an inevitable appeal against the judgment when it comes (either by myself or by Ms Riley, depending on who the judge supports).

Please support my CrowdJustice fund in one or more of the following ways:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don’t forget that if you’re having trouble, or simply don’t like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on the website. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

Next time, I’ll discuss my reasons for not contacting Ms Riley for a comment before publishing my article.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Was it in the public interest for Vox Political’s Mike to call Rachel Riley a hypocrite?

Was it possible for me to show a reasonable belief that my Serial abuser… article was published as a matter of public interest?

This was the pivotal question in the libel trial that Rachel Riley brought against me, and Counsel for the claimant (Ms Riley) and the defendant (myself) both had much to say about it – although not all of it was informative, or even relevant (in my opinion).

The angle taken by Ms Riley’s Counsel was that I had not done the 24 hours’ research I had claimed, prior to publishing the article. This was based on an absence of evidence, rather than on anything he could identify as proof.

So he pointed to the fact that I had written three other articles on January 26, 2019, and suggested that I had only seen the Guardian article that prompted me to write Serial abuser… sometime in the afternoon, giving me only two hours in which to assemble the information I used.

He said that, if I had indeed researched my information, I would have mentioned this research in the article.

He attacked the Shaun Lawson articles to which I had referred, claiming that he was not a proper journalist (although he himself argued that so-called “citizen journalism” is valid as journalism and should be held to the same standards as the mainstream media) and that his pieces were highly-partisan attacks on opponents of Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party – implying that the information they contained could not be trusted.

He referred to a comment I made in December 2019 about “looking up” the information I was relying on, as if I had meant I was researching it for the first time, rather than going back to material with which I had already become familiar.

He claimed it was impossible for me to have recalled what I had seen or what I had thought of it before I wrote my article in January 2019 (days after reading it), let alone in December 2019 and July 2021 when the amended defence was served, even though the material had been publicly available on Twitter for anybody to see and form their own opinions.

He referred to the Lachaux trial (again) in which a judge said it was important to rely on documentation of past matters and referred to the problem of fading and unreliable memories – none of which applied in this case because the information was publicly available on Twitter. The claim that I kept no records is therefore irrelevant – there was no need to make notes of my own.

And he said there was no record of what I considered to be the public interest in publishing my article at the time. I have never seen any record by any journalist of what they thought was the public interest in publishing any article of theirs, prior to being challenged on it and I wonder where Ms Riley’s Counsel has seen such material.

He went on to point out – accurately – that my original defence statement included only 67 tweets, while the amended defence relied on nearly four times as many tweets. He also said it relied on other documents that had not been included in the original defence.

So when it came to belief, he claimed, I could not have applied my mind to the matter in any adequate way. And in response to a comment by my own Counsel in his skeleton argument for the trial, “He obviously believed that publishing the statements was in the public interest. Why else would he have published it?” Ms Riley’s Counsel suggested: “The answer is that [the defendant] considered it in his and his favoured political interests to publish the appalling defamatory words.

My Counsel responded: “To the extent that the [public interest] pleading is fuller in the [amended defence], [the claimant] is correct. However, the insinuation that [the defendant] had not read the tweets accompanying his [amended defence] in the Appendix and that his later pleading is confected… is both inaccurate and unfair. The reason that the [amended defence] is fuller is precisely because [the claimant] complained it was deficient before the Court of Appeal… and the Court noted that it was “short on detail, and lacking in clarity as to the defendant’s reasoning process”. This prompted the … amended pleading, in which [the defendant] set out his case in exhaustive detail. [He] acknowledges that courts generally deprecate this type of “kitchen sink” pleading but given the indication of the Court of Appeal, and the fact that [public interest] is a developing area of law, pleaded his [amended defence] by reference to all of the evidence he would rely on at trial. This was contrary to the more proportionate approach adopted in the original defence. [The defendant’s] disclosure exercise duly produced all of the documents he relied on.

“[The claimant] is wrong to assert that ‘[the defendant] relied on just two documents in his defence as giving rise to his belief in the allegations of misconduct towards the child online (the Lawson articles) but by the time of the [amended defence] there are some 25 further documents relied on’. This is to excise [paragraph 41(a) of the defence] and ignore the Court of Appeal’s holding..: “The Defence makes clear that the evidential basis for the article is to be found in the two Lawson articles and in paragraph 41(a).”

Paragraph 41(a) of the defence was as follows: “The Defendant’s article was based on the tweets sent by and on behalf of the Claimant compared to those sent by and on behalf of Rose.” 41(b) stated that I further based my article on Shaun Lawson’s two articles and 41(c) stated that, having compared (a) and (b) to establish the evidential basis for my article, it was my editorial judgement that publication was in the public interest.

My Counsel continued: “Of the 67 tweets in the appendix to the original defence, 48 were not included in either of Mr Lawson’s articles.”

He stated: “[The defendant] had spent approximately 24 hours researching his article. ‘Once I got into it the material was fascinating in a horrifying kind of way.’ [The defendant] did not have an animus against [the claimant]. He had watched her on Countdown and ‘rooted for her on Strictly’ but was ‘dismayed’ when he ‘saw her taking this course politically’. ‘In the 10th January article I said she has come under malign influences.’

“[The defendant] did not keep notes of his research. There was no need to. All of the material was publicly available. He didn’t record his times – ‘Why possibly clock in and clock out?’ He queried if lawyers kept records of their legal research. ‘The most basic practice of journalism is to check facts. Make notes, yes, but all of the notes were there on Twitter.’

“[The defendant] hadn’t mentioned his research in the article. There is never a statement in a news article to this effect. [The defendant] had written thousands of articles and never made such a statement. [The defendant’s) response to the suggestion that it was highly unlikely that he had done any research for the article was emphatic. He dismissed the suggestion as ‘drivel’.”

And he said: “[The defendant] researched Mr Lawson’s two articles in terms of their underlying information as well as wider material beyond the two articles and was satisfied that the facts he presented were accurate. [He] rejected the suggestion that Mr Lawson had an axe to grind: “Does hehave an axe to grind or is he presenting a case against people who have an axe to grind? On balance, I come down on the side of the latter”.

In verbal submissions, he also pointed out how “[Counsel for Ms Riley] questioned Mr Sivier, saying he was ‘looking up’ evidence, and then changed it to ‘evidence gathering'” – implying that, rather than collecting evidence that had already been found, I was actually seeking evidence to support my claims for the first time; in other words, that Ms Riley’s Counsel had tried to mislead the court.

I shall not go through every item of evidence my Counsel mentioned in his closing statement – but it seems reasonable to mention those that related to the claims I made in my article.

My Counsel pointed out: “[The defendant’s] research uncovered… [the claimant’s] juxtaposition of Rose’s tweets with a report of the killing of 11 Jews at a Pittsburgh synagogue, in order to portray Rose as an anti-Semite. [The defendant] was not challenged regarding his evidence. [The claimant’s] conduct is sinister, not only in its grotesque misrepresentation of [her] exchange with Rose, but because [she] knew Rose was a vulnerable child who had been subjected to online bullying by her followers and this tweet was more incendiary than any of [her] previous attacks. [The claimant had juxtaposed two unrelated tweets in order to fabricate evidence with which to attack the child.”

In verbal submissions, he quoted Ms Riley’s tweet: “‘This has a direct parallel to the spread of antisemitism.’ This is the most incendiary tweet. Publishing it by direct reference to the child and linking it to something as serious as the massacre in Pittsburgh. There is no challenge to Mr Sivier’s view that this was part of the bullying behaviour. We know that Mr Sivier was reasonable in this because third parties then pointed out the danger this caused.”

In written submissions, he continued: “The defendant was also disturbed by [the claimant’s support of Ms Oberman’s harassment of Rose and her father… [The claimant] attacked Rose’s father in the fourth thread by which she doxxed Rose by publishing her father’s details including his surname.”

And he said: “[The defendant] repeatedly cited [the claimant’s] dogpiling tactics, whereby [she] copied in unconnected third parties to her tweets at and about Rose in order to gain momentum against Rose on Twitter, whilst distanding herself from any attacker. It was this “dogpiling” which [the defendant] highlighted (in the article). [The defendant was clearly correct to report this as the chronology shows, Rose having been subjected to dogpiles as a direct consequence of [the claimant’s] first and second threads on [December 17, 2018].

He added: “[The defendant]… explained that “the point of view of the victim is something which should be given a certain amount of weight”… As [he] repeatedly stressed in his answers, he was mindful of the imbalance between [the claimant], an adult celebrity with a national media profile and considerable following on Twitter, and Rose, a 16-year-old child suffering anxiety who had a very small following on Twitter, in comparison.

“[The defendant’s] article “provided a voice for a person who has been voiceless”. He elaborated on this in re-examination. “Because [the claimant’s] words at the time were all over the mass media in newspapers and TV and it seemed to me someone should do what they could to provide Rose who she had abused a small platform to gain balance with what [the claimant] was saying everywhere”.

I still have to finish paying for my legal representation at the trial – and start building up funds for what I think will be an inevitable appeal against the judgment when it comes (either by myself or by Ms Riley, depending on who the judge supports).

Please support my CrowdJustice fund in one or more of the following ways:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don’t forget that if you’re having trouble, or simply don’t like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

Next time, I shall discuss whether it was important that I did not include in the article a denial of wrongdoing by Ms Riley, whether it was necessary to contact her for a comment before publishing it, and any other matters in the closing submissions that were not discussed in this or the previous article.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
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but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
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Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

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And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Did this Vox Political article really cause serious harm to Rachel Riley’s reputation?

In my coverage of the libel trial brought against me by Rachel Riley we have reached what, for me, was the trickiest part of it – the closing submissions by the barristers representing the claimant (Ms Riley) and the defendant (me).

These cover the important aspects of the case: whether my Serial abuser… article caused serious harm to Ms Riley’s reputation; whether I could show reasonable belief that publishing my article was in the public interest; and sundry other matters.

To complicate the coverage, submissions came in both written and verbal form – and in the actual trial, Counsel for the claimant had the last word, which seemed very strange to me; I am used to criminal cases in which the defendant always has the last word.

In an attempt to keep matters as simple as possible, I propose to cover the topics covered in the case one by one, taking the claimant’s points and my own answers to them individually, so you can see what was claimed and evaluate it immediately against the answer that was given to it.

So we start with section 1 of the Defamation Act 2013, and the question of whether my article caused serious harm to Rachel Riley’s reputation.

In his written submissions, her barrister stated that my allegations were “very grave indeed” – that Ms Riley was accused of abuse, harassment and the incitement of death threats against a 16-year-old child, and that my own expressed opinions are “similarly serious”.

He stated: “It is difficult to conceive of allegations more damaging to a person’s reputation than that they have abused and bullied a child and have wilfully encouraged threats to the child’s life” and “no reader … could be in doubt that [Ms Riley] had acted in a way that society would condemn in the very strongest terms and that would lead to a person being reviled”.

The problem with this is that these were not new allegations; they had all been public knowledge for some time before I published my article, in other articles and Twitter threads that had not attracted legal action from Ms Riley.

As my Counsel wrote: “In terms of causation (irrespective of whether serious harm was actually caused to her reputation) [Ms Riley’s] case is undermined by the antecedent publications of: [Ms Riley’s] own publication of the serial abuser imputation to her vast readership of over 600,000 in her… thread of January 9, 2019; the defendent himself [in his article of January 10, 2019]; [Shaun] Lawson’s Enough is enough article on January 12, 2019; [Ms Riley’s] further publication to her vast readership in her fourth thread of January 15, 2019; Mr Lawson’s Beneath contempt article on January 18, 2019.

“A further difficulty on causation is that Rose herself published her complaints that she was a victim of the harassment of [Ms Riley] and her followers to her own readership of approximately 10,000 followers weeks in advance of [the defendant’s] article. For example:

“In these circumstances it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the court to trace any harm to [Ms Riley’s] reputation to the publication of [the defendant’s] article on January 26, 2019.”

Counsel for Ms Riley tried to refer to case law to suggest that a defendant cannot rely on the fact that similar defamatory statements have been published about the same claimant by other persons (known as the Dingle rule as it arises from Dingle v Associated Newspapers Ltd [1964]).

But my own Counsel pointed out that “in circumstances where a claimant ‘points to some hostile remark or other adverse event in his life as evidence of harm to reputation caused by the publication complained of, and there are other possible causes of the remark or event, in the form of other publications to the same or similar effect’, the Dingle rule has no bearing in determining causation” (Economou v De Freitas [2016]).

During verbal submissions, when Ms Riley’s Counsel referred to the Dingle rule, the judge herself stated: “Economou provides the exception to that.”

This is strengthened by the fact that Ms Riley, in her own evidence, admitted complaining about such hostility, that had been triggered before my article was published.

There is no evidence that my article caused serious harm to Ms Riley’s reputation. My Counsel made it clear that her own attempts to establish a case of actual harm – in her witness statement – were unreliable and should be discounted.

She stated: “A left-wing friend, Natasha Devon, told me around the time that the bullying allegations were at their height that she had friends questioning her as to why we were friends since I bullied children. She had to set her friends straight.”

But my Counsel pointed out that in cross-examination, she “could not recall any details of her discussion with Natasha Devon, for example whether she spoke to her before or after [the defendant’s] article or if she even mentioned it.”

Ms Riley stated: “On Thursday 7 March 2019 my agent arranged a meeting with my employer, Channel 4. The meeting was with David Sayer, Head of Daytime Programming at Channel 4. I was accompanied by my agent. We thought we needed to get on the front foot and address complaints that had been made about me by people on Twitter, encouraged by different false allegations made by another figure associated with the Corbyn Labour Party. The child bullying accusations were also raised in this meeting. Whether they were raised by me, my agent or by Channel 4 I cannot now remember, but the bullying and harassment allegations were highly active at the time and needed to be explained to Channel 4.”

But my Counsel stated that in cross-examination, she “admitted that her written evidence concerning a meeting with her employer… was the same evidence relied on for the purpose of her case on reputational harm and damages in [another trial]. It is impermissible for [Ms Riley] to seek to “recycle” this evidence from a different case concerning a different publication. As [she] admitted in her answers, she did not tell her employer about [the defendant’s] article at the meeting nor did she tell [the judge in the other trial] about [the defendant’s article]… As it happens, [that judge] discounted the evidence which [Ms Riley] did give about the meeting on the basis of causation… The causation point concerning the meeting does not even arise in the present case given that the evidence has been recycled and is completely irrelevant. It is, however, relevant in terms of [Ms Riley’s] credibility.

Ms Riley stated: “Since I began to warn of the far left’s antisemitism in September 2018 I have been attacked many times and with different false accusations on Twitter and elsewhere for speaking out against it. But the false bullying and harassment of Rose narrative is the one that has been the biggest and most damaging of all… Even now I receive messages from people repeating the false child bullying allegations.”

My Counsel responded: “[Ms Riley’s case on causation is even more tenuous regarding the general references to unspecified attacks upon her reputation.”

He continued: “[Ms Riley’s] evidence did not refer to her statement reported in The Times on 26.01.19 that, “People have been repeatedly messaging Channel 4 saying I should be fired or arrested – I’m a racist and a white supremacist.” These messages indicate that serious harm to [her] reputation preceded [the defendant’s] article.”

He stated: “[Ms Riley] also gave oral evidence that she had been subjected to threats of violence (including rape) in comments left on [the defendant’s] crowdfunding website. These very serious allegations were mentioned for the first time during the trial. They are not corroborated in any documentary evidence in spite of [Ms Riley] telling the court that the threats remained online and she had provided copies to her solicitors. Given the amount of documentation [her] solicitors have included in the trial bundle, [her] evidence is not believable. Again, the point goes to her credibility.

“[The defendant] infers that [Ms Riley] concocted this evidence in a misguided attempt to supplement the dearth of any actual evidence of serious harm.”

Ms Riley’s Counsel, being unable to point to evidence of serious harm caused to her reputation by my article, relied on an inferential case – that it may be concluded that the allegations in my article were themselves enough to cause that harm. He pointed to more case law (Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd [2019]), quoting the judge, Lord Sumption, as follows: There is no reason why inferences of fact as to the seriousness of the harm done to Mr Lachaux’s reputation should not be drawn from considerations of this kind.”

But this was not the totality of Lord Sumption’s words. He actually stated: “The … finding was based on a combination of the meaning of the words, the situation of [the claimant], the circumstances of publication and the inherent probabilities.” From this, it seems clear that it is not enough to rely only on an interpretation of the words in my article and the judge must apply other criteria – not even those listed by Lord Sumption but whatever she determines appropriate to this case.

This means it is still possible for the judge to conclude that serious harm was caused by the Serial abuser… article – but if she comes to that conclusion she will be required to list her reasons.

It is understood by the Defamation Act that serious harm to a person’s reputation depends on the extent of publication – the number of people who read the allegedly-offending article. There is a further question of whether a significant number of readers had changed their opinion of that person negatively as a result of reading the piece.

I had provided information showing that Serial abuser… had been read 51,367 times up until March 2022. In written submissions, there was some debate over how many of these were repeat readings by people who had already seen the article and came back to it, for example, when the libel case came to court (as it has on several occasions prior to the actual trial). Counsel for Ms Riley reckoned only a five per cent reduction was appropriate, while my own suggested 50 per cent.

In either case, the number of people reading the allegations to which Ms Riley’s Counsel referred was dwarfed by those to whom she herself had already repeated them on Twitter, to quote just one of the examples mentioned by my own Counsel.

Counsel for Riley also referred to the so-called “grapevine effect”: “It would be wholly unrealistic to suppose that circulation of the allegations by social media, private electronic media or word of mouth has not happened as a consequence of the Serial abuser… article.” Fair enough, but would that not also apply – to a much greater extent – to circulation of the allegations as a consequence of Ms Riley’s threads of January 9 and 15, 2019?

In verbal submissions, he referred to my tweets publicising the article: “If they reached 27,000 people, that will tend to produce a viral knowledge at least of the article”.

The judge replied: “In principle, it is promising to look at these comments and see whether people believe what is being said.” That works in my favour because I was dogpiled in the comment threads for both those tweets, so there are many more comments by people attacking me than supporting me, and this in turn suggests that my article did not seriously harm Ms Riley’s reputation.

Here’s a very odd suggestion: Counsel for Ms Riley tried to say that analysis by my own barrister of the rises and falls in readership of the Serial abuser… article was an attempt to say she should not have brought her libel claim. He stated: “[My] arguments put to [Ms Riley] in cross-examination as to the peaks of readership of the [article] reflecting stages in the litigation are odd. They can only be understood as meaning that a claimant should never bring a claim in libel lest the defendant continue to publish. The reality is that the defendant is responsible for what he publishes and if he persists with his publication he must face the consequences of its readership, however that comes about.”

But this is to discount the reason my Counsel was discussing the article’s viewing figures, which was to argue against Ms Riley’s claim about the number of individuals who have actually read it. That argument was that increases in readership of the article at different stages of the court case were generated by articles on my crowdfunding page, which I have been using to fund my defence – and were mainly repeat readings of the article by people who had seen it before. Of course I have a fundamental right to defend myself against a libel claim, and Ms Riley’s suggestion in evidence that I was not is wrong in principle and in law.

My Counsel also put forward a suggestion that many of my readers were people who had already formed a negative view of Ms Riley because of her then-existing bad reputation – that the article’s readership was essentially an echo chamber. Her Counsel wanted to suggest that “these people are members of the public. They are not of a specialised, identifiable, sealed group whose members will have views that are of no consequence to [her].” But he was able to provide no evidence to prove this and the case law he quoted was unhelpful; Barron v Collins [2017] included a suggestion that the reputation of Labour MPs is of no consequence to members of UKIP, a different political party, which has obvious and serious implications for democracy – and Monroe v Hopkins [2017] was criticised for referring to “evidence of bad reputation by the back door” because of the claim that people who read the allegations were those “whose opinions of the parties can’t be shifted”. I have pleaded a case of bad reputation so my “echo chamber” point cannot be dismissed as a second attempt to do the same.

In verbal submissions, the judge asked: “If you are right that there were people supportive, increasing the number of views at that point, why would that show they were all the same people reading the same article again and again?”

My Counsel responded: “We can’t prove it but rely on the general point of the ‘echo chamber’ argument – people whose opinion wouldn’t matter to the claimant. The over-arching point is, even to take [her Counsel’s] figures, given that this was published as early as January 2019, and given what we know, the mere figure of 11,000 views [in the period immediately after publication] doesn’t demonstrate serious harm. The argument for serious harm simply doesn’t get off the ground.”

To conclude my summary of this part of the closing submissions: while Ms Riley’s Counsel tried to claim that the allegations in my article seriously harmed her reputation, the fact that they had been previously published elsewhere – and had generated criticism of her that she had mentioned – may have meant no such harm could be traced to me; and while he had argued that its having been read more than 50,000 times by now – and knowledge of it spread by the “grapevine effect” – meant enough people could have read it and been influenced by it to trigger an inference of serious harm, it is possible that Ms Riley herself caused more harm by tweeting the same allegations to her own following that is 12 times as large as the article’s readership – and the “echo chamber” effect suggests that my readers were already unsympathetic to her view in any case, while those hearing of the article (for example, on Twitter) were unlikely to change their view of Ms Riley because of it.

We await the judge’s decision.

Meanwhile, I still have to finish paying for my legal representation at the trial. I know it is over but I want to ensure my legal team are fully remunerated – especially as there is likely to be an appeal, whichever side wins in the High Court.

Please support my CrowdJustice fund in one or more of the following ways:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don’t forget that if you’re having trouble, or simply don’t like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

Next time, I’ll discuss the closing submissions for the claimant and myself about my defence that publishing Serial abuser… was in the public interest.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Riley libel trial: was Mike wrong to refer to Shaun Lawson’s articles

One aspect of Rachel Riley’s case against me was her claim that I could not have formed a reasonable belief that my Serial abuser… article was in the public interest, because I had not checked all the evidence.

She based this assumption – and that’s all it was – on the fact that my claims about her behaviour towards the vulnerable teenager Rosie on Twitter referred to information in two articles by Shaun Lawson: Enough is enough: Rachel Riley, Gnasher Jew, and the political weaponisation of antisemitism and Beneath contempt: how Tracy-Ann Oberman and Rachel Riley harassed, dogpiled and slandered a 16-year-old child and her father.

At the trial in July, she claimed through her counsel that I could not possibly have read beyond those articles because I referred readers to them. It was not stated, but I expect she (and he) were implying that I should have referred readers to the original Twitter exchanges instead.

That would have required me to write a much longer article – and time was of the essence. When I wrote Serial abuser…, Ms Riley had just been quoted by The Times and The Guardian as saying she needed a bodyguard because of online abuse – and I judged it strongly in the public interest to point out that her own online abuse of a vulnerable teenager had been reported to have resulted in threats against that girl – who could not afford a bodyguard.

Besides that, there was a simple reason for me to use Mr Lawson’s articles, summed up in the phrase, “why reinvent the wheel?”

Mr Lawson had already put the information I wished to provide into readable form; there was no need for me to go over the same tracks.

I was aware that his assertions had a sound basis because I read Enough is enough right after it was published (and then shared the link to it on Twitter), and was sufficiently interested by its reference to Twitter exchanges between Ms Riley and Rosie to research them over the following two weeks, during which time Beneath contempt was also published and I was able to research the background to that as well.

So when I referred to Ms Riley “cold-shouldering a 16-year-old girl with anxiety problems who had pointed out that Ms Riley has adopted questionable allies, in such a way that her (Ms Riley’s) supporters subjected her to an appalling amount of abuse (known as dogpiling)”, I knew that it was true; Ms Riley had ignored Rosie’s claim that she had joined another Twitter user (some might call him a troll) in accusing Jeremy Corbyn of having anti-Semitic policies and gaslighted her (and Ms Riley’s own followers) with a counter-claim that she had been discussing anti-Semitic behaviour among rank-and-file Labour Party members – and her followers and supporters on Twitter, reacting to this, had dogpiled Rosie, showering her with abuse.

When I referred to Ms Riley “doubling-down on this behaviour by including a tweet from the same teenager as an example of anti-Semitism”, I had a copy of that tweet, courtesy of Ms Lawson’s article (although I should stress that I now believe both he and I misinterpreted that tweet, which juxtaposed Rosie’s tweets to Ms Riley with references to anti-Semitic incidents. That being said, juxtaposition of this nature, that misleads the reader into false conclusions, is potentially libellous and as a trainee journalist I was taught never to let it happen).

When I referred to Ms Riley “comparing this teenager’s attempt to point out the inconsistencies in her own behaviour with ‘the spread of Antisemitism’, I again had a copy of the relevant tweet, via Mr Lawson.

The same goes for my claims that Ms Riley “supported actress Tracy Ann Oberman’s campaign of harassment against the same teenage girl”, “tried to gaslight her followers into thinking that [Enough is enough] was inaccurate by supporting false claims by one of her allies”, and “attacked that teenage girl yet again, along with her father”.

In cross-examination at the trial, I was able to provide the tweets in which these incidents took place – and discuss them in depth.

I also pointed out that, having written an earlier piece that discussed Ms Riley’s interaction with Rosie – on January 10, 2019 – it made perfect sense for me to have been interested enough in these events to have researched the tweets in my spare time, during the two weeks before I wrote Serial abuser.

Ms Riley’s counsel insisted that the evidence suggested I had not done this research, even by the time I published my initial defence statement on January 29, 2020 – because I only included 67 of the 280 or so tweets connected to the story in the appendix.

This was disproved when I pointed out that, of those 67 tweets, 48 did not appear anywhere in Mr Lawson’s articles. I must have done my research, simply in order to be able to provide them.

And if I had done that research, then it was entirely possible for me to form a reasonable belief that publishing my findings was in the public interest, in the light of Ms Riley’s claims about needing a bodyguard – to show the hypocrisy of her position.

Next time – and at long last – I’ll move on to the two counsels’ closing statements. It seems likely that the case will hinge on the points of case law they raised.

As far as I am aware, I still have to finish paying for my legal representation at the trial. I know it is over but I want to ensure my legal team are fully remunerated – especially as there is likely to be an appeal, whichever side wins in the High Court.

Please support my CrowdJustice fund in one or more of the following ways:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

We’re coming to the end of the evidence in the trial – but not to the end of this case.

I would like to thank you for staying with me for the last three and a half years. The end is in sight now, and I want you to be here to see it with me – whatever it may be.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Mike’s evidence at Rachel Riley’s libel trial: DOXXING

The next important piece of evidence I gave to the High Court in Rachel Riley’s libel trial against me did not directly concern Riley herself.

The day after she published her third thread about Rosie, who had stood up to her after she published unsupported claims about then-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Riley’s friend Tracy-Ann Oberman came into contact with the vulnerable teenager.

From the information available, it seems Rosie had misconstrued something Ms Oberman had written about somebody else, and responded with a short thread about the distress caused by being dogpiled.

Then, on the morning of January 11, 2019, Ms Oberman launched on what would turn out to be the first of more than 60 tweets (63, according to Rosie herself at one point), inviting this anxiety-suffering teen to dinner with her in London.

Rosie was in full-time education at the time, and studying for her exams. She did not respond as Ms Oberman spent the morning filling her Twitter timeline with unwanted invitations and unnecessary conversations with third parties, into which she tagged Rosie.

The messages took a sinister turn after friends of Rosie, and her father, tried to discourage Ms Oberman from continuing. She went on to suggest that Rose was a dupe who was being manipulated by third parties, including her father,

attack Rose’s father,

and suggest that Rose was an adult, not a child.

More than 60 tweets over a single day (in fact I think the period was 18 hours because Ms Oberman finally stopped at around 3am the following day) may easily be characterised as harassment.

Riley, who is a friend of Ms Oberman on Twitter and therefore is likely to have seen Ms Oberman’s interaction with Rosie from the start, was nevertheless tagged-in to the conversation from 2.40pm on January 11 onwards. She supported this single-day campaign of harassment in a tweet on January 12,

and in another as part of her fourth thread on January 15 (if the message directly above doesn’t seem clear enough, this should):

This final thread about Rosie seemed to follow on from Riley’s third thread, of January 9 that year, by apparently discussing conspiracies and conspiracy theories.

I told the High Court that the only linking theme to the third thread, that I could see, seemed to be an attempt to claim that Rosie was somehow accusing Riley of conspiring with others to present falsehoods about anti-Semitism among Labour Party members:

Rather than attacking Rosie directly, the fourth thread targeted Twitter accounts that had tweeted in support of her – as though they had all been conspiring together to discredit Riley.

In particular, she targeted Rosie’s father – and in this, she did something unforgivable, in my opinion: she tweeted out his full Twitter handle, which contains his surname, multiple times.

I have previously discussed the way Riley had claimed hiding Rosie’s Twitter handle was enough to prevent her from being identified, when it wasn’t: Rosie’s first name was still visible, and anyone wanting to find her handle could simply have run a Twitter search on the dialogue in the tweets Riley had re-published as screenshots.

Now, by providing the full name of Rosie’s father, which could be linked to hers, Riley had made it possible for malcontents among her followers and anybody else following her tweets on this subject to track the family down to their real-world address.

This then happened, according to Shaun Lawson in one of his articles on this incident (which I hope to discuss next time).

Finding or publishing private information about somebody else on the internet without their permission, especially in a way that reveals their name and/or address, is the classic definition of the abusive behaviour – it is described as online harassment – known as doxxing.

In court, I went on to discuss the reaction of third parties to what Riley had done. This short thread by musician (and former drummer with the band Level 42) Phil Gould is informative:

Also informative is this thread by someone identifying as a friend of Rosie, which Rosie herself liked:

The last tweet I provided in evidence referred to this comment in Riley’s fourth thread:

The message was very clear:

As far as I could tell, it was received – because I saw no further Twitter messages from Riley about Rosie.

Next time, I’ll move on to discuss the two articles by Shaun Lawson, and the way I used them when I came to write my own.

As I stated last time: I still have to finish paying for my legal representation at the trial. If you are as horrified by the above information as I was when I read it in early January 2019, please support my CrowdJustice fund in one or more of the following ways:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don’t forget that if you’re having trouble, or simply don’t like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button at the bottom of this article, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

I really want to pay off the last of my debt to my legal team before the judge delivers her verdict – which could happen at any time although we don’t believe it will happen before the new court term begins in October.

This is because I fear the verdict may go against me – despite the damning evidence I provided in court and have been reproducing here. If it does, I will have to seek funding for an appeal – and we already know how expensive they are.

I’ll discuss the points of law that may determine the case when I get to the closing comments by my counsel and Riley’s.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Rachel Riley libel trial: did this celebrity STALK a vulnerable teenage girl?

In the normal course of events, being blocked on Twitter would end contact between two users; the blocked user would not be able to read or respond to tweets by the person who blocked them.

In my last report, I explained how I told the High Court that Rachel Riley angered a teenage girl called Rosie so much – with her gaslighting, DARVO (Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender), dogpiling and other tactics – that the girl did just that.

But it seems to me that Riley then circumvented that block, monitoring Rosie’s further interactions on Twitter in order to use them in an attack on her.

Before I get to that, though, let’s all take note that, just two days after Rosie blocked Riley, she posted this on Twitter:

Given the volume and strength of the abuse that had been sent to Rosie by followers and supporters of Riley over the previous few days, can anybody – apart from Riley’s legal representatives – doubt the truth of this claim?

Sadly, Rosie’s next comment on Riley was a misstep. On December 31, 2019, she tweeted: “I had to block Rachel Riley because honestly, she’s such a self-entitled knob. Somebody put it perfectly to me – she has a mouth but no ears. Instead of listening to evidence, she shouts racist to everybody making a valid point.”

Needless to say, this attracted criticism, but Rosie’s response throws light on her feelings about Riley’s behaviour at the time: “It’s okay for her to relentlessly bother me? [Another Twitter account] can tell you how much abuse we have received. Calling someone a knob is nothing in comparison to what we have recurved [sic].”

This is a clear indication that Rosie considered Riley’s Twitter threads of December 2018, and her demand that she disown comments she had never made, to be acts of harassment – and that she had suffered abuse, either in those tweets or as a result of them, or both.

Rosie expanded on this further on January 8, 2019, when Riley announced that she had recorded a podcast on online bullying. She tweeted the following:

So now I could see that Rosie considered Riley to have encouraged others to dogpile her.

I explained dogpiling tactics to the judge in some detail. The nature of these is such that they put distance between the person encouraging the dogpile and those carrying it out.

Consider the tactics used in Riley’s first thread – tagging-in friends she thought would be sympathetic and then gaslighting with a false claim about the subject of her dialogue with Rosie – that it was about general anti-Semitism within the Labour Party rather than an unsupported claim of anti-Semitism against Jeremy Corbyn. Those people, as victims of such general anti-Semitism, were likely to take offence and take such action as they deemed fit – either attacking Rosie themselves or publicising what Riley had tweeted to others who would.

The attacking tweets would therefore come from people who were at such a distance from the person inciting them that they could claim they were not to blame. But would Rosie have suffered abuse like this –

– if Riley had not written what she had about her?

Claims that another person is an anti-Semite are highly damaging – especially if the target of those claims is entirely innocent, as Rosie was.

I pointed out to the judge that forthcoming legislation against so-called “online harms” will be a dead letter if courts are unable to understand and accept the way dogpiling is orchestrated.

Riley herself was to make much stronger such assertions in the very near future, because on January 9, 2019, she launched a third Twitter thread about Rosie.

This one was notable because it all appeared at once – robbed by the block of the possibility of sending messages to Rosie, Riley abandoned the “drip-feed”, harassing, effect of tweeting every two or three minutes and published the whole thread at the same time – 7.38am.

She referred to her podcast with Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy, then tweeted:

How did Riley get hold of a tweet by Rosie, published on January 8, 2019, nearly a month after she was blocked from seeing any tweets by Rosie at all?

The judge pointed out that the image in the tweet was a screenshot of a retweet by somebody else. Riley would not have been able to see Rosie’s message in a retweet because Twitter would simply have sent her a message saying she was not permitted to see it.

So either she logged out of Twitter to view Rosie’s tweets (or, in this case, @LabourFanTV’s retweets) anonymously, she created a different Twitter account in order to monitor Rosie, or a third party was monitoring Rosie on her behalf. This would, by definition, amount to participation in a campaign of abuse/harassment against Rosie, that is against the law.

All these acts would qualify as “monitoring the use by a person of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication” which is an offence of stalking as defined in the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. The Act states that such behaviour amounts to stalking if “the person whose course of conduct it is knows or ought to know that the course of conduct amounts to harassment of the other person”. Riley had been blocked by Rose for “pestering” her. Under Twitter rules, she was expected to leave Rose alone. She did not. She circumvented the block in order to gain access to Rose’s tweets for her own purposes – to publicise them in order to attack Rose.

The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 outlines harassment offences as “causing alarm or distress” and “putting people in fear of violence”. Rose had already raised the alarm about the distress caused to her by Riley’s followers after Riley tweeted her December threads.

It seemed clear to me that Riley had committed offences under the Protection from Harassment Act and/or the Protection of Freedoms Act.

Riley went on to present screenshots of her dialogue with Rose – that she admitted taking herself:

It’s possible that she had taken these screenshots in December 2018 – before the block – but that in itself would be strange and aberrant behaviour. Who takes screenshots of all their communications with another person, in the expectation that they will be able to use such information to attack that person later? It seemed to me that malice was implicit in Riley’s decision to do so.

The claim that the tweets presented here were “how it all started” is, of course, false. It all started with Riley’s false claim about Jeremy Corbyn.

A couple of tweets later, Riley published a tweet linking Rosie with anti-Semitism:

When I was studying journalism, way back in the 1990s, the danger of juxtaposition was hammered into me – and this is a prime example of it.

The issue here is that a statement that may be innocuous on its own can have a defamatory meaning as a result of being placed next to other material. In this instance, the comment that Labour Against Anti-Semitism writes a weekly review of anti-Semitism, next to tweets by Rosie and references to denials of an anti-Semitic attack would be enough to suggest that Rosie herself was an anti-Semite.

Many readers would be unlikely to think beyond the fact that Rosie’s tweets had been connected with a line about weekly reports on anti-Semitism. I myself was wrong-footed by this tweet, and spent a large amount of time wondering how Riley had worked out that Rosie’s messages here were anti-Semitic. I published in my Serial abuser… article that Riley had included Rosie’s tweets as an example of anti-Semitism because that is how it appeared to me. I only realised later that, as Riley had been publishing screenshots of her dialogue with Rosie, in sequence, throughout her thread, these were simply the next part of that dialogue.

The law is clear on this, though: if the tweet, taken as a whole, is capable of having a defamatory meaning, then it is defamatory. So, again, it seemed clear to me that Riley had, even if inadvertently, accused Rosie of being an anti-Semite.

In this tweet –

– Riley admitted calling for Rosie to “reconsider her comments about Jews being fed lies” – comments that Rosie had never made.

The next tweet shows a screenshot of a Rosie tweet from December 31, 2018 – after Riley had been blocked. We see no evidence that anybody other than Riley had anything to do with the taking of the screenshot. therefore we may conclude that Riley herself was responsible for it, having monitored Rosie’s tweets ever since Rosie imposed the Twitter block:

Riley’s tweet also includes an outright lie. It can’t have been the last thing she knew Rosie had written about her if she had already published a screenshot of a tweet Rosie wrote eight days later (see above).

In her next tweet, Riley claimed that Rosie’s comments had “a direct parallel with anti-Semitism”:

As with many of Riley’s tweets, the claim is not made clear but it seems to be that Rosie was perpetuating falsehoods, in the same way that the anti-Semitic tropes listed in Riley’s tweets contained lies about Jews.

It’s another lie, of course – Rosie had not said claims of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party were untrue, so she was not putting forward falsehoods about those alleged incidents.

But the connection between Rosie and anti-Semitism, made in a previous tweet, was strengthened here, although the comparison doesn’t work. Rosie had not suggested that Jews control the media or used any of those other tropes; she had simply pointed out that a television celebrity had made a false claim about a politician.

It is also another dogpiling tactic – comparing an action by another person with an unacceptable activity in order to encourage others to take offence – and, possibly, to criticise the subject of this comparison on the social media.

Now consider the comment that Riley had removed Rosie’s Twitter handle. This is presented as an attempt to anonymise the vulnerable teenager and protect her from further abuse and/or harassment. But in fact, it achieved nothing of the sort. Rosie’s profile picture was clearly visible, making it possible to trace her via a reverse image search; so was her first name; and of course the text of all her tweets to Riley was faithfully reproduced, meaning anybody wanting to trace her could simply have carried out a search of some of those sentences, using Twitter’s advanced search facility. Riley had not protected Rosie’s identity at all.

With this in mind, you should know that, as a whole, the 13-tweet thread amassed more than 3,000 Twitter likes, 547 replies and 553 retweets – considerably more than Riley’s threads of the previous month. The reason for this seems to be summed up in this comment by a third party:

And this one:

And this:

And this:

And, finally and most disturbingly, this:

It seemed clear that, despite her repeated protestations that people should not target Rosie for dogpiling, that is exactly what Riley had, once again, done.

But it seemed to me that the tide was also turning against Riley, as people were beginning to realise the consequences of her behaviour toward a vulnerable teenage girl. For example:

Next time, I’ll discuss (briefly) the day Riley’s friend Tracy-Ann Oberman spent incessantly tweeting Rosie while she was at school/college, trying to study for her exams, and Riley’s fourth thread in which she made it possible for abusers to trace Rosie to her actual home.

I still have to finish paying for my legal representation at the trial. If you are as horrified by the above information as I was when I read it in early January 2019, please support my CrowdJustice fund in one or more of the following ways:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don’t forget that if you’re having trouble, or simply don’t like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button at the bottom of this article, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

I really want to pay off the last of my debt to my legal team before the judge delivers her verdict – which could happen at any time although we don’t believe it will happen before the new court term begins in October.

This is because I fear the verdict may go against me – despite the damning evidence I provided in court and have been reproducing here. If it does, I will have to seek funding for an appeal – and we already know how expensive they are.

Please help now – if you can.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Rachel Riley libel trial: DARVO rears its ugly head

Continuing my account of my evidence at the libel trial against Rachel Riley last month, we move on to her second – and longer – thread addressed to Rosie, the 16-year-old girl who had criticised her for making an unsupported claim about then-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and then for allowing her followers and supporters on Twitter to dogpile Rosie herself for having done so.

I should remind you that what follows is my evidence to the trial, detailing the reasonable conclusions that I drew from the evidence available to me before I wrote the Serial abuser… article.

Riley had deliberately chosen to address Rosie publicly, after having been asked not to do so, knowing that her comments were likely to attract unwanted attention to Rose; Riley had ignored the subject at hand in favour of a different argument that she could more easily use to assert the superiority of her own point of view over that of Rose (gaslighting), and that was therefore more likely to attract responses supporting her and denigrating Rose from her followers. Riley had 610,000 followers and Rose had only 10,000 – statistically, it was likely that more comments would be supportive of Riley than Rose.

Did Riley write her thread in the hope that her followers would send more abuse to Rose? It is hard to tell. Certainly she was reckless as to whether Rose would receive abuse and, knowing the state of Rose’s mental health (we know Riley did know this because of her reference to her friends who were mental health campaigners), reckless as to the effect that it would have on Rose’s state of mind.

Chronologically, the next tweets were from followers and supporters of Riley, again attacking Rosie but this time supported by Riley’s first thread.

Then Rose responded to Riley’s thread, politely disagreeing. Almost her first comment made the point that she had acknowledged that anti-Semitism existed in the Labour Party:

So Riley had no reason to discuss anti-Semitism in the Labour Party; Rosie agreed that it was there but the subject under discussion was different. She then addressed that subject as being a debate “weaponised by the media” against Jeremy Corbyn.

In a separate tweet, Rosie made another attempt to get away from Rachel Riley and her claims, announcing that she was about to “have a break from Twitter”.

But Riley wasn’t having any of that! Instead, she published a second, longer thread, less than two hours after Rosie had declared her intention to take a break from Twitter altogether.

Again, Riley could have avoided contacting Rose on public Twitter and could have used the direct message system. Again, she did not. Again, this was a deliberate choice; she wanted to put this in the public domain, and never mind the consequences for Rose who was, we must keep reminding ourselves, a minor who suffered with mental illness/disability that manifests as extreme anxiety.

This time, Riley wrote 16 tweets, ignoring Rose’s wishes and providing a further springboard for her followers to send Rose more abuse. Indeed, it includes from the outset everybody she had tagged in during her first thread, because it is a response to Rose, who had been replying to Riley’s first thread. It seems reasonable to conclude that the publication of more than twice as many tweets as in her first thread, directed at Rose but with other Twitter users included, was done with a deliberate intention to intimidate Rose, and to invite abuse. Knowing also that Rose had asked to be left alone, it seems reasonable to conclude that this was also intentional harassment.

Take a look at these:

Unaccountably, Riley had ignored Rosie’s admission that there was anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, but that the matter under discussion was Riley’s unsupported claim about Mr Corbyn, and gone back to gaslighting her with the claim that any talk of anti-Semitism in Labour was a “smear”.

Then, a little later in the thread, Riley tweeted:

I recall having to correct my witness statement at this point in the trial; it had labelled this as gaslighting but it is in fact a technique of abuse known as DARVO: Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender. I was able to insert this change because my evidence about this thread was mainly on the same subject anyway. I’ll walk you through it:

‘Deny’ is self-explanatory. The person accused of wrongdoing (Riley in this case) denies that it is the case. She was saying that she had not smeared Owen Jones and Jeremy Corbyn – without providing evidence to support her claim.

‘Attack’ is when the accused person turns around the criticism to focus blame on the person calling them out. Riley said Rose was calling her a liar (not true; Rose had not done this) but was not aware of “all the detail” (also not evidenced; Rose had followed the dialogue about Lord Sugar. But Riley was claiming that the topic was really anti-Semitism in the Labour Party and that Rose did not know “all the detail” about that. Of course not, but that does not matter – Riley was trying to change the subject to one that was much larger, but also irrelevant to the discussion at hand).

‘Reverse Victim and Offender’ is where the accused person turns the tables to say that, rather than being guilty of doing something terrible, they are being treated poorly. We see it here with Riley, who said Rose had called her a liar and then added, “That’s pretty hurtful.”

DARVO arises from the work of psychologist Jennifer Freyd, who links the first stage (denial) with gaslighting (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DARVO).

There then followed several tweets listing alleged incidents of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party, that were totally irrelevant to the discussion Rosie had been having. Then Riley returned to her DARVO tactic with:

Jews aren’t the enemy in this. Rose had not suggested they were.

“Disagree with any of these facts but please note that calling fears a ‘smear’ is deeply hurtful and helping to spread the virus that is Antisemitism.” But Rose had not called Jews’ fears of being attacked a smear. Riley had twisted her words to present a falsehood to thousands of potential recipients.

In fact, Rose had said Riley had encouraged others to smear Jeremy Corbyn in a very particular way. She did not say that all complaints by Jewish people were wrong. She had not even been given a chance to say whether she agreed or disagreed with the accounts Riley had provided and the suggestion that she did disagree is more gaslighting.

So we see Riley again attacking Rose – suggesting that Rose disagreed with the stories she had provided without giving her a chance to offer an opinion, misrepresenting Rose’s use of the word “smear”, and going on, again, to claim that she – Riley – was the victim by again claiming that Rose’s accusation was “deeply hurtful” (so it was now a stage up from “pretty hurtful”).

Riley’s next tweet hypocritically claimed, “Please know, none of what I’m saying is meant to attack you, or single you out.” This is simply not true. This was the 15th tweet in a thread that had done nothing but single Rose out, and that contained a sustained DARVO attack.

“Unf[ortunately] you’ve become a figurehead for all the wrong people in this…” In whose opinion? This is not evidenced. By tweeting this to thousands of people, Riley was putting forward the idea that Rose was representing the views of anti-Semites. She was also expanding on her claim in the previous thread that “I imagine you’ve received a lot of praise for echoing popular opinion on this”. The claim that Rosie was echoing “popular opinion” was false as popular opinion at the time was against Mr Corbyn. But the important element was “I imagine”; Riley had plucked an idea out of thin air and acted as if it were true – and now she was blatantly treating it as though it was a fact, without any evidence to back it up.

Rose replied to this thread 18 minutes later – politely standing her ground. Her response was a short thread of her own which gives the impression of a person trying to maintain her patience with someone who is refusing to engage properly with the subject matter: “Thank you, I understand everything you say and how the Labour Party do need to act more on antisemitism.” This is not an expression of gratitude; it is a protest that Rose was already aware of the issue that Riley had raised. It could be paraphrased, “Yes, I know all this and don’t need to be lectured on it, thank you very much!”

“Unfortunately others on twitter are not quite able to have a sensible debate without name calling and throwing abuse.” She was pointing out that she had a legitimate cause for complaint about the way others (including Riley’s followers) had attacked her.

And then a pointed contradiction of Riley’s implication that Rose was mistaken in her opinions:”I will always be willing to learn from others and recognise when I am wrong but also stand by my opinions.” This is accurate. She was saying she would not be steamrollered by Riley’s multitude of tweets defending a claim that Rose had not even questioned.

Again, she tried to drag the discussion back to its real topic: “It is a shame that I personally find the media will pick holes in anything and everything that Jeremy Corbyn does.”

And then Rosie tried – for yet a third time – to depart from the discussion gracefully: “Have a lovely Christmas, I’m putting this debate behind me now.”

Once again, this wasn’t good enough for Rachel Riley, whose response came just 14 minutes later:

She was asking Rosie to recant the claim that Riley had smeared Labour with claims of anti-Semitism within its ranks. But how could Rosie do that when she had never made such a claim?

Rose finally lost patience with Riley at 7.24am on December 18, 2018, after only a day’s dialogue between them. Her thread speaks for itself. She started: “I’m not finding Rachel Riley to be a nice person at all. I said I wanted to move on from this debate and end it, then she tweets me about retracting my comments after I said I stand by my opinion but will always listen to others.”

Rose continued: “I apologised for the ethnicity and religion mix up but what I won’t apologise for is saying that antisemitism is used by right wing media in order to bring Jeremy Corbyn down. She only believes what she wants to believe.

“She said that she isn’t singling me out but all she has done has encouraged an onslaught onto me.”

Those words are clear. Riley had “encouraged” an “onslaught”. Rosie was stating her firm belief that, in engaging Rosie in dialogue, Riley had set her up as a target for abuse by her followers (whether intentionally or not is irrelevant; Rosie is not clear on this point but the effect is the same, either way). Note also: Rosie had said that, in order to do this, Riley had ignored her repeated calls to be left alone.

“I tried to be respectful and mature to her by saying I understood her stance but she’s just thrown it in my face.” Rose was making it clear that she had disliked Riley’s attitude from the start and had been trying to show politeness in the face of extreme provocation: “she’s just thrown it in my face”.

“Not to mention the patronising “I’m sure you mean well”.

Then Rosie published the absolutely damning tweet of 7.31am, December 18, 2018: “I may be sixteen but that doesn’t automatically make me an idiot. I will not sit here and let her dictate what I say and how I feel. I do not feel threatened by you, Rachel.” This is a clear statement that she thought Riley was trying to exert coercive power over her – that Riley had bullied a child with mental health problems; that she had harassed Rose and that her behaviour had been abusive.

“And I would have hoped you could have listened to everyone else’s opinions instead of just your own”.

Rosie concluded by saying that she had blocked Riley from having any contact with her on Twitter.

That seems an appropriate place for a break. Next time, I’ll discuss how Riley circumvented the Twitter block and what she did with the information she then accumulated.

If you think the above is bad (and it is), there is more – and worse – still to come.

I still have to finish paying for my legal representation at the trial. If you are as horrified by the above information as I was when I read it in early January 2019, please support my CrowdJustice fund in one or more of the following ways:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don’t forget that if you’re having trouble, or simply don’t like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button at the bottom of this article, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

I’ll publish a further instalment of my evidence soon.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Riley libel trial: did she really abuse and harass a girl with mental illness?


Last time I discussed the trial, I promised to explain some of my reasons for believing that Rachel Riley had abused and harassed a teenager with mental ill-health.

Riley has denied any such behaviour, and one of the criticisms of my article is that I didn’t mention this (despite the fact that she had already broadcast it to far more people than I could reach, via her Twitter feed alone, and never mind her TV and other appearances before my article).

In fact, my Serial abuser article refers to her Twitter threads in which she did deny her behaviour (and attacked the girl and her father), so it was possible for readers to see what she had said if they wanted. And an update in November 2019 made it clear that Riley disputed some of the opinions in the piece and was suing me for libel over them.

So, what’s she complaining about?

The origin of the dialogue between Riley and the girl was a tweet she published on December 14, 2018. Here it is:

She was supporting a tweet by David Collier suggesting anti-Semitism by Owen Jones in an extremely suspicious way.

Lord Sugar had said he would leave the UK if Jeremy Corbyn was elected prime minister – but had not mentioned his own Jewish ethnicity as a reason. He said he feared for the future of his grandchildren and their children but provided an economic argument – that a Corbyn government would be “like watching the mother-in-law drive the family Ferrari off a cliff”.

After Jones tweeted “Celebrate good times, come on!” Mr Collier was the first person to mention Lord Sugar’s Jewish ethnicity. Riley expanded on it, as you can see from the tweet.

The girl – Rosie – spoke up. She tweeted that she was disappointed with Riley for supporting and promoting a false impression of Jeremy Corbyn, who she contended was not an anti-Semite but a pacifist who had won peace prizes (which is true).

Riley did not initially respond, but her supporters and Twitter followers did, subjecting Rosie to a considerable amount of vitriolic abuse. Rosie then complained:

She then tweeted that she wished to leave the discussion behind her, saying she had  “muted antisemitism and likewise from Twitter so I can stop being trolled”.

Sadly, more abuse followed, suggesting that whatever Rosie had done to get away had been unsuccessful, leading to a point where one of her abusers demanded that Rosie should apologise to Riley. Her response:

It was at this point that Riley decided to engage Rosie in discussion – the point at which Rosie was trying to get away. Why then?

There were possible good reasons for contact. Riley could have apologised for making a false accusation against Mr Corbyn. She could have explained her reasons for making that accusation. Or she could have made a statement disapproving of the abuse Rosie had received from her followers.

She did not have to do this in public. She could have honoured Rosie’s request not to perpetuate the abuse – which, by now, had developed into harassment by those of Riley’s followers who had refused to leave her alone, by contacting her via Direct Message.

In court, Riley’s counsel suggested that this would not have been possible because a Twitter users have to be following each other in order to send DMs. This is not true.

But Riley did not do any of these things. Instead, she send a seven-tweet thread to Rosie via public Twitter, ensuring that all of her followers, including the abusers were able to read what she had to say. The tweets could have been sent all at once but were instead “dripped” to Rosie at one, two or three-minute intervals which – to a person with anxiety issues, may be considered to be harassment by itself.

Here’s her first tweet:

You can see she chose to put Rosie down with the patronising “I’m sure you mean well,” at the start. Rosie herself was to comment on this later.

Then she commented on abuse – not by apologising for it or saying Rosie should not have suffered it. It’s “horrible for anyone to receive”, she said, which may be interpreted as a refusal to acknowledge that her followers had abused anybody at all.

It’s an astonishing comment – not least because the very next sentence is an act of abuse: “But what possible motive could I have for wanting to smear with lies about AS?” This is gaslighting.

I know what you may be thinking: she was responding to Rosie’s claim that she was smearing Mr Corbyn by suggesting that he and/or the Labour Party’s policies under his leadership, were anti-Semitic.

This is disproved by the tweet immediately following, in which Riley stated: “Plenty of Labour member are up in arms with what’s going on within their party, is it all a smear?”

So Riley was trying to pretend that she had not said Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour policies were anti-Semitic, but that there was a large amount of anti-Semitism in the Labour party. This was not what she had stated, as you can see by checking upwards.

Going back to her first tweet, Riley then employed a well-known dogpiling tactic known as “tagging-in” – including other Twitter users in her thread so they would read it – people familiar with the issue under debate, who may then read what Riley had said, draw the wrong conclusion about what was going on, and act against Rosie themselves (or encourage their own followers to do so).

You see how dogpiling works? This tactic puts distance between the person causing the dogpile and those carrying it out as there is no direct call to action. But all the elements required for that action to take place are there.

Note also that both the people tagged into that first tweet are described as being involved with mental health – a further put-down of Rosie, who was not only a sufferer of mental illness but a campaigner for better mental health care for teenagers.

And all that is just in Riley’s first tweet! Around 50 more were to follow.

I’ll skim over much of the rest of the first thread, because Riley mostly discussed herself and her own education in anti-Semitism.

But at the end, she states:

“You can have a @UKLabour party who fight for people AND don’t promote or ignore antisemitism. But you’ll have to fight for it now.” More gaslighting.

And then:

Guilt by association – with imaginary people. Riley tweeted “I imagine” Rosie had received praise, but “not” from “the type of people I’d be wanting praise from”. How would she know – was it because she had just invented these people?

And how was Rosie “echoing popular opinion” when the mass media had whipped public feeling against Corbyn?

The offer to answer any questions is yet more gaslighting, of course – Riley was putting herself forward as the expert, suggesting that Rose knew nothing.

Finally – and this is damning: “and I’m far from ashamed”. That’s a direct reference back to Rosie’s claim that Riley should feel ashamed because she had been “subjected to horrible abuse for standing up against some of the awful media you have been sharing”.

Riley was saying she was not ashamed of causing this abuse, which could be interpreted as a call for her followers (and anybody else who had become involved as a result of reading this thread) to inflict more on this vulnerable girl.

That’s a lot of abuse, a hint of harassment, and some apparent encouragement of dogpiling – all in a single thread.

Worse was to follow.

I still have to finish paying for my legal representation at the trial. If you are as horrified by the above information as I was when I read it in early January 2019, please support my CrowdJustice fund in one or more of the following ways:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don’t forget that if you’re having trouble, or simply don’t like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button at the bottom of this article, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

I’ll continue this with more of my evidence to the trial later.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Rachel Riley libel trial: why didn’t Mike publish her denials of guilt?

It may seem a good question on the face of it, but in fact there was no reason for me to include any denials by Rachel Riley of the allegations against her.

To clarify: the background to my article, Serial abuser Rachel Riley to receive ‘extra protection’ – on grounds that she is receiving abuse, was that she had abused and harassed a 16-year-old girl with mental health problems – but that wasn’t the point of the piece.

In fact, I was saying that Riley was a hypocrite for claiming victimhood due to online abuse, after having been involved (at the very least) in events that included abuse of the teenager.

This did not prevent her counsel, John Stables, from claiming that the omission of her denial that she had abused the girl was “fatal” to my defence that I had published the piece in the public interest.

In cross-examination, I misunderstood what I was being asked and said that the non-inclusion of a denial was a “sin of omission, rather than intention”.

This is not correct. Riley’s protestations of innocence were a matter of public knowledge by the time I wrote my piece. She had published two Twitter threads to her audience of more than 600,000 followers, and had given TV interviews complaining about being abused despite not having done anything wrong.

So there was no obligation for me to reiterate something that was already known to more people than my own readership.

On the other hand, I didn’t seek a response from Riley on the hypocrisy question before publishing the article, because my opinion was that the public interest lay in putting out an alternative, opposing view to Riley’s claims, as soon as possible. I could not publish her denial of hypocrisy because she had never made one. I’m not certain she ever has.

From my amended defence: “It was the Defendant’s editorial judgement that the Claimant should not be approached for comment. Her position had been consistently stated… In particular, in her 14 tweet barrage at 4.45pm on 15 January 2019, the Claimant had vehemently denied bullying Rose whilst further attacking her.

“It was the Defendant’s judgement that firstly, the Claimant was highly unlikely to comment, and secondly, in the event that she did she would only take the opportunity to double down in her attacks on Rose.”

And this is from my witness statement: “I was aware Ms Riley had already given her side of the story in the Guardian Article, an article published on January 26, 2019 by The Times newspaper and in her Fourth Thread where she denies bullying Rose whilst attacking her further. I had also seen her interview with the journalist, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, broadcast by Channel 4 News on January 9, 2019, the podcast with Mr Guru-Murthy and interview on ITV’s Lorraine on January 10, 2019 where she repeated her claim that she was getting online abuse. I had also considered the wide ranging interaction between Rose and Ms Riley in which Ms Riley had expressed her position strongly and in detail.

“I also understand that Ms Riley is known to engage with young people (for example, in co-operation with charity, as Ms Riley is said to do), which is why I found her behaviour toward a 16-year-old child to be so abhorrent. I set out in this witness statement a long list of wrongdoing by Ms Riley, who presents herself to the public as a person of good moral character and a role-model for others, including young women. It was clearly in the public interest for me to bring her misdeeds to the public’s attention, especially when other members of the public were agreeing that Ms Riley was in the wrong… and to do so as soon as possible.

“I do not believe that, even had I approached Ms Riley for comment… she would have commented. I also did not want to encourage a further tirade of abuse to be hurled at Rose. Therefore, knowing that the adage that ‘a lie can circle the world before the truth has got its shoes on’ is a truism in the modern world of the internet, I knew that an article presenting a counter-view would need to appear as soon as possible so that its impact and relevance was not lost. I therefore published my article on the same day as the Guardian article.”

Also, of course, Riley had the right to reply. If she had wanted to correct falsehoods in my article or present her own point of view, I would have been happy to hear what she had to say. Instead, she “pressed the nuclear button”, as I put it in cross-examination during the trial, and launched court proceedings against me.

This tends to indicate – to me – that she didn’t have an answer to my allegations and instead hoped to silence me by embroiling me in lengthy and expensive litigation that I would not be able to afford.

These are the arguments the judge must weigh in considering this single aspect of the case alone.

And it is true that funding remains a pressing issue. Despite the trial having happened, there remain around £2,000 worth of legal fees outstanding – which is the reason I have a CrowdJustice campaign.

If you think my arguments are persuasive, please contribute:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don’t forget that if you’re having trouble, or simply don’t like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button at the bottom of this article, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

Next time, I’ll discuss some of the evidence I put forward to support my reasonable belief that Rachel Riley abused and harassed a teenage girl online, and that this behaviour encouraged others to do the same.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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