Tag Archives: defence

Time is running out! Help Mike fund his appeal against wrong-headed Riley ruling

Happier days: Vox Political’s Mike Sivier with the correction he secured from the last organisation to publish falsehoods about him. Hopefully, one day soon, you’ll see an image of Mike with an apology by Rachel Riley.

The week after a judge struck out my defence against Rachel Riley’s libel case against me was… eventful, wasn’t it?

In many ways it was one of a kind I hope I’ll never see again: extremely stressful, with a large amount of hard work.

The element that kept me going through this struggle was certainly the response to my appeal for funds to fight back. You provided around £11,000 in a single week and this has enabled me to get started on an appeal, and on submitting another defence.

Even though I am taking the strike-out to the Court of Appeal, the trial is still going on, and I don’t currently have any defence against Riley’s false allegations.

(They are still false, you see. They will always be false. She deliberately targeted a teenage girl with anxiety problems for psychological manipulation, coercion and bullying and made her a target for dogpiling and for threats to her safety, traumatising the young person concerned. That is the fact of the matter, whether a High Court judge accepts it or not.)

If the Court of Appeal accepts my application, then it may be possible to delay the trial – it should be, in the interests of justice. But it seems nothing is certain. And I must present something to defend against Riley’s allegations in the meantime.

Fortunately, there is a large amount of material available for me to use. She is extremely loose-lipped, especially (albeit metaphorically) on Twitter, and seems to delight in making daft statements.

For example, she recently made a comment about “the need for anti-black racism”. It may well have been a Freudian slip – she seemed to be discussing the need to oppose such racism – but the fact that it happened shows that she is a person whose pronouncements must be questioned, whose words cannot be trusted.

And this means that she cannot claim to have suffered significant harm to her reputation; any harm she has suffered, she has done to herself.

Nor can she claim that anything I have said can possibly have harmed her – for reasons I’ll keep to myself for the moment. Her legal team watch this site like hawks; while I may not have much cash, I think I can afford to let them stew for a while.

The fact remains that, even with the £11K that you raised for me in a single week – and I’m still reeling with amazement at the size of that response – the appeal alone is expected to cost around £30,000. If I win, I believe I will get it back, along with the cost of defending the strike-out application, and this may make the trial much easier – but we are a long way from that point now.

And time is running out. I have nine days in which to lodge my appeal and file a new defence.

So, once more, I have to say, please:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

From the way she behaves, one would think Rachel Riley has already won this case.

Let’s remind her that she is gravely mistaken.

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’s lawyers attack Mike’s crowdfunding site

Before anyone comments, I know that UK courts don’t use the gavel. This is for illustrative purposes.

What are they afraid of?

Well, there’s a simple answer to that: Rachel Riley’s legal team knows that a judge’s decision to strike out my defence against her libel claims is not safe and wants to ensure that I don’t have the financial ability to challenge it.

Initially, according to my own solicitor (I don’t have any direct contact), Patron Law took a very strong line that many of the assertions in my updates on CrowdJustice had been proved to be defamatory by Mrs Justice Collins Rice’s judgment of January 20 and that my fundraising web pages should be taken down completely.

That has now been moderated. The firm now says it has written to CrowdJustice asking only for defamatory comments and updates to be removed. But Patron Law has not provided any information on what its members believe those comments and updates to be.

The demand would only be reasonable if I were not appealing against the judgment – and we all know that I am.

Already I have looked at the judgment in relation to the evidence I provided and have identified significant issues, in terms of both fact and law, where her judgment may be challenged. So my representatives will definitely be lodging an appeal.

This makes it entirely possible for the judgment to be cancelled (annulled?) and for my defence to be reinstated. If that happens, then it would be premature to remove any of the information from the CrowdJustice site.

I have to take a balanced view of this and have said to CrowdJustice that it is right to abide by the law and I will remove any words that offend against it at the appropriate time. Now is not the appropriate time.

Meanwhile – here’s the good news: since I made my desperate appeal for more funding, you have donated more than £9,000 to the CrowdJustice site – or to me personally. That’s in just three days! And most of it came in on the first day – around £7-8,000.

Because of this, I reached 90 per cent of my stated target and CrowdJustice asked me if I wanted to extend it. Considering the new financial demands – the appeal, costs of continuing the case in the High Court, the possibility of having to pay the costs of Riley’s application – I have raised it to £200,000.

I consider this to be a monstrous amount to have to pay for justice.

It really reinforces what I have said all along – that this case is not about the facts. It is an attempt to hijack the justice system and use it to bully somebody with fewer funds out of what little they have.

That is deplorable in itself.

The attempt to stop me from crowdfunding makes it very much worse.

My appeal is continuing and it is possible to contribute in these ways:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

You have given a lot in the last few days. Most significantly, you have given me hope.

There is more to do, though.

Let’s keep going. We can win.

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 case: hope for the best – but we must plan for the worst

As I write this, the judge has still not handed down her verdict on Rachel Riley’s application to have my defence against her libel accusation struck out.

In a week’s time it will have been a month since the hearing. Even with Christmas between then and now, it seems a very long time to wait for a judgment.

On one hand, this could be a good thing – it could indicate that she is inclined to find in my favour and dismiss the application, and has spent the time ensuring that such a judgment is corrrect in law.

On the other, she could be finding ways to justify a verdict in favour of Riley.

Either result could be contested; both sides could appeal, if they could find a justification for it – and if one of us has the funds.

Then there is the question of the actual trial. That is unlikely to happen until 2022, I am told, but it will still need to be funded.

If the judge finds for me in the current application, some of the pressure will be relieved as my £29,000 legal fees would have to be paid by Riley – but we cannot rely on that.

We can only rely on the CrowdJustice cash – and that fund is running low.

This case has always been about whether justice should be allowed to be bought by the person with the biggest bank account.

If you still believe that justice should be decided on the evidence instead, then I must ask once again:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

I hate making these requests.

But I have no choice.

I believe in justice – as do you.

It seems this is the only way any of us can get it.

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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Court hears evidence that Rachel Riley bullied vulnerable teen

The High Court in London: The judge was here, but This Writer was at home in Mid Wales because the hearing took place remotely, via the magic of the internet.

ADDITIONAL, 12/12/2020: I woke up this morning to discover my personal Twitter account – @MidWalesMike – has been suspended. I have received no email providing any reason but can only conclude it is because I tweeted the link to this article, and somebody complained. It is not a breach of Twitter rules to tweet a link to a fair and accurate article like this.

Please contact Twitter to request the restoration of my account.

Judgment was reserved – I could have screamed!

It means the judge will consider the evidence and deliver a written judgment in due course, stating whether or not she considers there to be enough evidence to support my defence against Rachel Riley’s claim of libel against me – and for a trial to take place in order to establish whether I libelled her or whether I was right to make the statements I did.

But the fact that a public hearing took place today (December 11) that mentioned some of the evidence means we can discuss that evidence here.

The claim is that I libelled Riley by saying that she had engaged upon, supported and encouraged a campaign of online abuse and harassment of a 16-year-old girl, conduct which has also incited her followers to make death threats towards her.

There are also claims which are defended as matters of honest opinion, based on these facts.

The judge seemed most interested in the way Riley was alleged to have bullied a girl who was aged 16 at the time, and who had mental health issues.

She heard that:

“Celebrity adult claimant” Riley first heard of the vulnerable “child victim” (as my counsel characterised them both) after she tweeted in support of claims that left-wing journalist Owen Jones acted an in anti-Semitic way when he tweeted in support of Lord Sugar leaving the UK if Jeremy Corbyn became prime minister.

The “child victim” tweeted in support of Jones, and this attracted the attention of Twitter followers of Ms Riley, who replied with abuse. They would not have seen the girl’s tweets if they had not been followers of Riley, and she sent a tweet to the celebrity, pointing out the abuse she had received.

This led to more abuse, to which the girl responded at one point by saying Riley had been “encouraging a smear campaign” (against Jones).

Riley responded with seven tweets, all sent to the girl within a 13-minute time frame. Some right-thinking people have questioned whether sending a teenager with mental health issues a tweet every two minutes is harassment.

The content of those tweets is also questionable. My counsel argued that Riley ignored the subject matter – her smearing of Owen Jones – and instead tried to gaslight the girl into doubting both her views and herself.

While recognising the abuse the girl had been subjected to, it was claimed that Riley failed to condemn her own supporters who had perpetrated it, patronised the girl, questioned her motives and suggested she was a dupe for the opinions of undesirable other people.

This led to a “dogpile” on the girl, with many more abusive comments from Riley’s Twitter followers. Riley herself wrote a second thread, but again failed to condemn the activities of her followers (despite the fact that every tweet was a reply to her – meaning she would have seen all the abuse).

By this time, she was referring to the “smear” as being about the Labour Party claiming accusations of anti-Semitism generally were smears, rather than about her having smeared Owen Jones.

She accused the girl of having called her a liar, and also of “helping to spread the virus that is antisemitism”.

The thread totalled 16 tweets over 44 minutes. Harassment?

The girl had certainly had enough, it seems, because she tried to end the dialogue, tweeting, “Have a lovely Christmas, I’m putting this debate behind me now.” [This was on December 17, 2018.]

Matters then became more sinister, because the court heard that Riley would not leave the girl alone. She tweeted: “Thank you for listening Rosie, I would appreciate an update to this please, so as to not encourage the smear rhetoric, if you now think there’s more to the story?” The girl also received more abusive tweets from Riley’s followers.

So the following day, she tweeted that she had blocked Riley. This means Riley was not allowed to read or respond to the girl’s tweets, or have anything directly to do with her on Twitter.

The judge took interest in this and wanted to know how we could be sure that Riley genuinely had been blocked. She mentioned it herself in a tweet on January 15 the following year: “I wouldn’t have been able to contact her even if I wanted to.” Riley certainly never contacted the girl directly again, indicating that she no longer could.

So how did she manage to acquire tweets the girl published on December 31, 2018, and January 8, 2019 – which she published in a 13-tweet Twitter thread on January 9?

This led to a discussion of stalking, and whether Riley had stalked this vulnerable teenager who has – let’s bear in mind – anxiety issues.

Riley’s counsel argued that the dialogue between her and the girl had been entirely polite and civilised, and denied that his client’s tweets contained any questionable material.

He said that when Riley mentioned the girl in her thread of January 9, and another on January 15, she had removed the girl’s Twitter handle in order to discourage any more dogpiles – but her name was clearly visible, along with her profile picture, and her father was fully identified in the January 15 thread, meaning anybody who wanted to do it could go back through Riley’s timeline and find all the contact details they needed.

Speaking for Riley, and in addition to his claims that the dialogue between his client and the girl was perfectly polite, John Stables said the “celebrity adult claimant” could not be associated with any abuse directed at the girl because she was not responsible for the behaviour of her followers.

The judge summed up his submissions as saying, not that there had been no online abuse of the girl but that Riley had not taken part in it or encouraged it, and any such campaign was nothing to do with her.

If that was the case, then why did the abuse follow – and refer back to – Riley’s tweets? Isn’t it more accurate to say that the abuse the “child victim” received would not have happened if Rachel Riley had not tweeted about her and to her?

Stables also suggested that we do not know to what extent the “child victim” suffered Twitter dogpiles. This is also not true, as the defence lists exactly the number of retweets, ‘likes’ and replies each of Riley’s threads received.

There was much more argument but these were the main sticking-points.

Bearing in mind that this hearing was only to establish whether there was enough evidence for a trial, what do you think?

If you reckon I have a strong enough defence, please help me fund it in the now time-honoured manner:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

The evidence may seem obvious from the above – but I have to admit that it is impossible for me to be objective about this case as I am the defendant. The judge may see matters differently.

It seems unlikely that the judge will throw the whole case out completely – as Stables had to retreat from a claim that my defence that I said what I did in the public interest should also be struck out.

But any decision in Riley’s favour could result in a crippling costs order against me.

And even if I beat this application to strike out my defence, I still need to fund the actual trial.

That won’t happen for some time yet, but I need to be ready for it, when it does happen.

I must thank everybody who has supported the crowdfunding effort already. Without your help I would not have been able to get to court at all.

Please help me see this through to the end.

Riley libel case: court hearing THIS FRIDAY. Help Mike win!

Before anyone comments, I know that UK courts don’t use the gavel. This is for illustrative purposes.

I am currently working with my legal team to put the finishing touches on our defence against Rachel Riley’s latest vexatious attack – a bid to have my defence against her libel action struck out.

The application will be heard in the High Court on Friday. Fortunately the court has agreed to hold it online – via Teams – as there is a risk that, having used public transport (trains and the Tube) to get there, I might carry Covid-19 back to my home town, which has been more or less virus-free throughout the pandemic. My situation applies to others who are appearing as well, I understand.

Most of the points in the Riley application appear to be either expressions of opinion that are not permissible in court or attempts to deny reality.

Part of the claim could be expressed as saying that Riley’s followers sent abusive messages to a teenage girl with anxiety problems at random, and they only happened to coincide with the TV celebrity’s Twitter threads attacking her.

That isn’t realistic.

Another claim is that Riley took pains to anonymise the girl she was attacking. This is also not true, as complaints on Twitter at the time, from concerned bystanders, made clear.

My personal opinion is that this is just another attempt to avoid having the evidence (and I have a lot of it) heard at a trial. Ms Riley seems highly averse to having this particular pile of dirty linen washed in public, which is exactly why it needs to happen.

But there is a possibility that she might win some of her points – and this could be extremely expensive for me.

She is throwing everything but the kitchen sink at this case, employing extremely expensive lawyers to make her case for her. If she wins even one point, the costs claim against me could be enormous.

That’s why she’s doing this, of course – to obstruct justice by making it impossible for me to continue. It has long been one of the strangenesses of this case that the defendant is the one who wants a trial and the claimant wants to prevent it from happening.

There are two ways to foil this plan. As I mention at the top of this update, I am working hard on the defence and hope to convince the judge with my arguments.

The other way is to ensure that I have enough funds to keep going, regardless of any minor wins the Riley team manage to score along the way.

My case is entirely crowdfunded and it is thanks to the contributions of thousands of people like you – possibly including you (I don’t know; many are anonymous) – that I have been able to get even this far.

Please help make sure I can take this all the way.

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

This is a very uncertain time and I have to admit that the possibility of any kind of loss is preying on my mind. That’s exactly what the predators on the Riley legal team want, of course. Part of their strategy is to demoralise me with constant vexatious applications like this one.

Won’t they be disappointed – and I know I’ll be cheered up immensely – if I get a sudden financial boost, right before this hearing? Please help make it happen.

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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Look out! Defence funding boost means Johnson wants to start a war

Boris Johnson: all he wants to do is cause trouble.

Boris Johnson is up to no good.

“What’s new?” I hear you cry in one voice.

Fair point. But whereas recently he has focused his diabolical efforts on harming the population of the UK with an income of less than £80,000 a year, it seems he is now widening that focus.

He has announced plans to increase spending on defence by 10 per cent, even though his government simply doesn’t have the money.

It seems his answer to all the poverty and misery he has caused is “Let them eat bombs”.

His efforts to contain Covid-19 by giving billions of pounds to Tory crony companies that have provided very little in return have swelled the national deficit to the extent that his government has borrowed more even than Labour during the year of the great recession.

At that time, the Conservative Party that Johnson currently leads said that Gordon Brown’s New Labour had bankrupted the UK (a false claim; as a nation with its own currency it is impossible for the UK to be bankrupted), and won an election – in coalition with Nick Clegg’s turncoat Liberal Democrats – that has led to more than a decade of “austerity” cuts to government funding that helps people on low incomes.

(These have been bonanza years for the super-rich, though.)

All of Johnson’s words about the new funding boost are threatening.

A defence spending boost will ensure “the safety of the British people must come first”, Boris Johnson said.

Translation: “I intend to manufacture a crisis. Margaret Thatcher did it – and won an election that ensured the progression of her neoliberal project to increase poverty and uncertainty for working people and help the rich do whatever they want again, while also forcing Labour to become more right-wing and expel socialists.”

It will “end the era of retreat, transform our armed forces and bolster our global influence”, he said.

Translation: “I want to kill Johnny Foreigner.”

Johnson is probably hoping to ingratiate himself with new US President Joe Biden, if that leader decides to launch military expeditions over the four years of the term he has just won.

Such military adventures always lead to attempts at revenge attacks against the UK, and these have caused considerable injury and loss of life over the last 10 years. Johnson may consider this an acceptable risk when balanced against the economic activity created by attempts to prevent it.

Johnson may also be unconcerned at the harm he will do to the UK’s international reputation if he starts throwing his currently-negligible weight around internationally.

He has already ruined the UK’s reputation as a trading nation by announcing his contempt for international law with a Bill that would overthrow the terms of the EU Withdrawal Agreement.

This is what happens when you give the most important job in the United Kingdom to an idler.

Johnson wants to make an impression on history and doesn’t care what it is. He probably hatched this lunacy while self-isolating in the Downing Street flat, thinking it a more profitable use of his time than… I don’t know… releasing the report on whether Priti Patel is a bully or not.

There is a saying that the Devil makes work for idle hands. It seems the Devil is now Boris Johnson’s drinking partner.

Source: Defence funding boost ‘extends British influence’ – BBC News

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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Prolonging the agony: Riley libel ‘strike-out’ application is adjourned

The Royal Courts of Justice in London.

What a mess.

Let’s discuss the good things first: thanks to everyone who donated, the CrowdJustice fund sailed past the £100,000 mark within hours of my last update on the Rachel Riley libel case.

What a message that sends! I hope Ms Riley has received it and I’m deeply grateful to all of you who contributed.

But yesterday (November 4) was very stressful because the High Court reversed a decision that the hearing would take place remotely – online, with all of us in our respective offices/homes – and demanded that we all appear in person at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

I live in the middle of Wales, which is still in lockdown, and I am a carer. I cannot ask anyone else to take over my caring duties while I go away because we are not supposed to go into anybody else’s homes – and it would be at too short notice anyway.

Last year, when I attended a hearing, I was able to arrange care for Mrs Mike – but I would have been able to take her with me to my family home, which I used as a stop-off point overnight before proceeding to London. That option wasn’t available because England is now in lockdown and my brother is being treated for a rare form of cancer, and is therefore shielding.

It is impossible for me to go at this time.

This meant that my team would have been at a considerable disadvantage. While my legal representatives would have been able to attend, my absence would have required them to request pauses in proceedings if they needed advice from me (and I know from experience of my recent case against the Labour Party how disrupting those can be). Also my absence could have been interpreted as an indication that I did not consider the case to be particularly important, which is far from the truth.

So it was a highly-distressed and disturbed Mike Sivier who finally got to sleep at around 4am today (November 5).

I woke to an email from my solicitor saying that my barrister has suffered an eye injury. I shan’t go into all the details of what transpired in the hours between then and now; suffice it to say that the case has been adjourned to the first available date in the future.

It is a good result.

It gives my team time to refine our case, and it gives me an opportunity to work out ways to provide care for Mrs Mike and get to the hearing, if the court decides that the new one will be ‘in person’ as well.

But it does mean that this fiasco of a bid to strike out my defence will drag on a little longer.

The case will run on after that hearing anyway – we have to face the prospect of a trial lasting several days, sometime in 2021 – so please continue donating to the fund.

Here are the details, as always:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

I will let you know the date of the new hearing as soon as I get it.

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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Two days to next Riley libel court hearing: support Mike!

 

Rachel Riley’s application to strike out as much as she can of my defence against her ridiculous claim of libel against me will go before a judge on Friday.

The same judge will also consider my own application to strike out part of Ms Riley’s claim.

I have been re-reading the statements in support of her strike-out application by her solicitor, Mark Lewis – and I have to say it is infuriating that such ridiculous arguments are to go before a High Court judge.

I wish I could tell you some of the nonsense that he – and the representatives for Ms Riley and myself – will have to discuss as if it was serious, but it is right that the court should have a chance to judge it before you do.

I can’t wait for the hearing to be over – hopefully with a positive result for me – so you can marvel at the silliness that I am having to deal with.

In the meantime, there is still a way for you to support me – and that is by supporting my crowdfunding campaign.

At the time of writing, the total stands at just over £99,400. It would give me a huge psychological advantage if we could get it past £100,000 before the hearing begins on Friday.

It is an achievable target; after last week’s update on the case, the crowdfunding campaign took nearly £2,000.

And it will put Ms Riley on the back foot – showing that no matter how many silly obstacles she puts in my way, like the strike-out application on Friday, this case is going to trial and the public will get to hear about all the things she has done that she wants to keep secret.

(My opinion has always been that Ms Riley thought a court case against me was an easy win – and easy money for her – because I am poor. She did not expect the crowdfunding campaign to be anything like the runaway success it has been so she has tried to whittle away my funds with expensive applications to the court. The last thing she wants is for this case to actually go to trial, as it means her treatment of a 16-year-old girl with mental health issues will face the full scrutiny of the law.)

So let’s get that total past the £100K mark. Here’s how:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

I don’t mind admitting that I’m nervous about Friday’s hearing. No matter how good I think my case is, I know that only a fool would take a judge’s decision for granted.

But I am proud of the CrowdJustice campaign and of the thousands of people who have supported it so far.

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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November 6 libel hearing: Rachel Riley is submitting a new witness statement

 

The High Court has now confirmed that the hearing of Rachel Riley’s application to strike out part – or all – of my defence against her ridiculous libel claim will be heard on November 6.

I live in Wales and will still be in a lockdown imposed by the Welsh Government, so it will have to take place online.

This is likely to take some of the force out of Ms Riley’s advocates – she may have two barristers, including a QC, but only the QC will be allowed to speak.

Meanwhile her solicitor, Mark Lewis, has indicated that he intends to submit another witness statement. I have concerns about this.

Obviously I don’t know whose statement it will be or what it will contain. More pertinent, though, is when will my team get to see it?

November 6 is only 10 days away. I’m wondering whether Lewis intends to ambush me with a statement delivered late on the evening before the hearing – as the Labour Party did with its skeleton statement of defence against my ‘breach of contract’ case at the beginning of October.

Of course a new witness statement against me means more work for my solicitors and more expense for me, so I must appeal to your generosity again.

The response to my last update was fantastic, meaning we are now less than £4,000 away from the milestone of £100,000! I had not expected to reach that until the end of 2020 at the earliest and it would be a huge psychological victory to manage it with months to spare.

And the closer we get to the £125,000 target, the more obvious it will be to Ms Riley’s advocates that they can’t expect to win by draining my funds. So:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

This case needs to go to court, so all the details – embarrassing as they are – can be heard.

With your help, it will.

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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Haste for hearing on Riley libel application – to drain Mike of all his funds?

The clock is ticking: Rachel Riley seems desperate to force a court hearing this month because she thinks Mike will run out of money. Only you can prove her wrong.

The High Court has suggested that an application by Rachel Riley to strike out part of my defence against her libel claim should be heard before the end of July – despite the fact that this will create a huge strain on my funds.

There is absolutely no urgency for this application to be heard and there is likely to be no shortage of urgent cases that could take priority over this one – and there is no date before the end of July on which both my solicitor and my Counsel will be available.

I understand Ms Riley’s solicitor, Mark Lewis, has written to the court with a suggestion that I want to delay in order to crowdfund the cash I need to fund my defence, saying he is concerned that this would establish a precedent that will clog up the administration of justice.

He has suggested that, besides being deprived of time to raise funds for my defence, I should also produce the extra cash that would be needed to obtain and instruct alternative Counsel.

We should all be concerned if this argument has swayed the court, because it is unjust.

Firstly, my reason for wanting to delay the hearing is that my Counsel is not available – not because I need to crowdfund. Courts are obliged to make efforts to accommodate Counsel, especially in a case in which the court would benefit from hearing from the Counsel who wrote my defence.

Secondly – yes, forcing me to change Counsel, to meet a July hearing date, will almost certainly put my defence fund in debt. Allowing the case to be heard later in the year will almost certainly not do so.

While the strain on my finances may not burden Mr Lewis, the court is required to deal with cases justly and at proportionate cost to ensure that the parties are on an equal footing. This means that the court must take account of the financial position of each party.

Let’s have a look at Ms Riley’s financial position in relation to mine: she is a very highly paid television celebrity who is able to afford both leading and junior counsel, while I am a full-time carer and am, yes, reliant on crowdfunding to finance my defence.

Speeding up this hearing deprives me of the ability to afford representation against a very well-resourced opponent. It is hard to see how the court can say this is just and proportionate treatment.

Finally, Ms Riley has put forward no reason to suggest that her case will be prejudiced if the hearing is not listed later; it will make no difference to her at all.

My own representatives have made these points to the court and we are awaiting a response.

But it seems clear that Ms Riley is once again trying to win her case by using my poverty against me. I think this is utterly despicable behaviour.

If your opinion of her behaviour is similar, then there’s only one way to help:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

I had been hoping to write an update this week, saying that the pressure was off for a while, then this happened.

Please help foil this latest dark development in a very nasty story.

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!
If you want to support this site
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but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
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1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

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