Tag Archives: libel

Riley libel case: what a shame we can’t rely on the national press to report fairly and accurately

For the recycler: many newspaper stories about the various libel cases brought by Rachel Riley aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.

A newspaper report on a recent libel defeat suffered by Rachel Riley illustrates a serious problem faced by those of us she has been dragging to court: we cannot hope for a fair hearing in the press.

The report, in the Mail, referred not to my own case but to that of Jane Heybroek, who beat Riley’s – and Tracy Ann Oberman’s – case against her, and forced them to pay… some… of her court costs.

I won’t do the Mail the courtesy of visiting its website to see the article. I can quote from the Zelo Street report on it instead:

Apparently, tacked onto a bit of throwaway celebrity gossip about some new acting role for Oberman was the following:

It comes after Tracy Ann and Rachel Riley dropped a libel action against an immigration barrister who retweeted an article accusing them of harassing a 16-year-old girl. Self-confessed ‘Buddhist Barrister’ Jane Heybroek shared an article by a blogger titled ‘Beneath Contempt: How Tracy-Ann Oberman and Rachel Riley harassed, dogpiled and slandered a 16-year-old child and her father’”.

It’s true that Riley and Oberman withdrew their case – it seems clear that they had to. They could not show that any defamation arose from Ms Heybroek’s tweet.

And what’s this about her being a “self-confessed ‘Buddhist barrister'”? That’s a label that I doubt any barrister would attach to herself. As Ms Heybroek herself tweeted:

I am not a ‘self-confessed Buddhist Barrister’. I am a Barrister and a practicing Buddhist. Do not attack me on the basis of my religion again, otherwise that is going straight to IPSO.

(That’s the Independent Press Standards Organisation – the often-toothless press watchdog.)

 I asked my solicitor to intervene the last time you did this, and you amended your article. I will be asking him to intervene this time. If this happens again, I shall go straight to IPSO as this is a ‘course of conduct.

She also sent – or more probably re-sent – her full statement on the end of the court case and demanded a correction from the Mail:

In the end, it seems she was forced to bring in her legal team. Zelo Street reported that the Mail removed references to anti-Semitism in the article: “The inference made by including those references was clear, and potentially defamatory.”

The Mail had also distorted a previous judgement in the case – on the meaning of the words forming the basis of the complaint.

It seems clear from this behaviour that so-called little people like Ms Heybroek and This Writer cannot expect our cases ever to be reported accurately by papers whose editors think they’ll make more cash by publishing positive material about so-called celebrities.

It seems I need to crowdfund – not just to protect myself from the court attentions of Riley, but also in case the newspapers publish false information about me and I have to challenge them.

You can help – 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.

I still don’t know when Riley’s application to strike out my own defence against her libel claim will come back to court, after it was adjourned from November 6.

Let’s make sure I’m ready to deal with whatever is thrown at me – and with whoever throws 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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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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Riley libel: new statements show she’s flailing – so support Mike

 

Remember that new witness statement that had me concerned about Rachel Riley’s libel case against me?

I have now seen it and it seems I need not have worried so much.

I can’t say much about it because I don’t want to prejudice anything that happens in the hearing on November 6.

This will be her attempt to strike out parts of my case – and mine to strike out a significant part of hers.

I expect to succeed in my bid. Hers is looking less and less likely.

But I still need funds if I am to get anywhere at all. After my last update there was a welcome surge in contributions and we are now within £2,000 of that £100,000 milestone.

Reaching that before the hearing next week would be a huge psychological victory for all of us, so please – if you can afford it in these Covid-ridden times – follow these instructions:

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.

Riley wanted this hearing – pointless as I expect it will be for her. I reckon she thought she could use it to drain my campaign of its funds.

Let’s show her that this was a bad mistake – and knock her off-balance before next Friday’s court hearing.

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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Next court hearing in Riley libel case against Vox Political’s Mike: November 6

The clock is ticking again: the next court hearing in Rachel Riley’s long-running libel case against This Site’s writer will be early next month.

The summer break is definitely over.

With the next hearing in Rachel Riley’s libel case against me set to take place on November 6, my legal advisor is warning me to brace myself for mischief.

Her solicitors have already disgraced themselves with a barrage of nonsense attacks and court applications aiming (I think) to drain me of financial resources. The hearing next month arises from one of these.

As the actual trial draws closer, they’ll be getting more desperate. Who knows what else they’ll try?

I’ve said all along that I don’t think Ms Riley actually wants a trial. I reckon she thought she could bully me into giving her some money and that she will struggle to prove her case against me.

So I expect more expensive delaying tactics – and this is why I’m launching a pre-emptive call for more funds.

I know this year has been hard on everybody and there’s not as much money around as there has been in the past, but if you can spare a little, please follow these instructions:

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 hearing on November 6 – Riley’s bid to strike out parts of my case and mine to strike out much of hers – will most likely be decided on the paperwork, rather than on anything said on the day.

But we must be prepared for all eventualities. This is a nerve-wracking time – but you can help make it easier. Please do.

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

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Here’s how MP’s frustration over Twitter death threat is vital to Riley libel case

There is a problem with Twitter.

It seems the social media platform simply will not co-operate with police investigations.

That’s what Labour MP David Lammy found out when he contacted Twitter for the identity of a racist who sent him a death threat.

According to the BBC:

A [Metropolitan Police] spokesman said: “All lines of inquiry were explored as far as possible, however, due to the owner of the suspected social media account living outside the UK and the fact we were unable to obtain the subscription details of the individual from Twitter, we were unable to continue the investigation.”

A Twitter spokesperson later said it was co-operating with police “having now received and processed the correct information”.

The change happened after Lammy sent tweets to Twitter boss Jack Dorsey, demanding to know why he was “shielding vile racists”.

Twitter has a bad reputation for refusing to co-operate with investigations.

Rachel Riley’s case against me is entirely based on events on Twitter – and some of the evidence is now missing because the people who published it have since deleted it.

I have been advised that it is impossible to get Twitter to provide information about the missing Tweets – what they said and who published them – because the platform simply won’t co-operate.

Even a court order – costing many thousands of pounds to obtain – is likely to be ignored.

And I’m not David Lammy; I can’t just tweet Jack Dorsey and demand help.

Still, there remain possibilities to explore and I intend to do so, at whatever expense is necessary.

If you think Twitter should divulge its secrets in the interests of justice, please help in the established 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.

Social media giants like Twitter – and Facebook – seem to think they can be indifferent to national laws.

Let’s change that.

Libel case: After Rachel Riley goes quiet, her follower starts abuse campaign against Vox Political’s Mike

You may have been wondering why there haven’t been any updates on the crowdfunding campaign to oppose Rachel Riley’s libel accusations. There hasn’t been much to say.

After she lost her bid to hold a premature hearing on her application to strike out part of my case (and mine to strike out part of hers), Ms Riley seems to have calmed down for a while.

Partly this may be because she was caught touting for her followers to tip her off about people against whom she could launch more court cases for libel; this would be vexatious litigation which is a big no-no.

I wrote about that on July 27. Curiously, one of Ms Riley’s followers – who will remain nameless (why give them publicity?) started a vilification campaign of their own against me – on Twitter, the day before.

You’ll be aware that the case centres on Ms Riley’s interaction with a teenage girl on Twitter. In August 2019, my new Twitter abuser doxxed her father – revealing his identity and Twitter address (and therefore providing information enabling people to track her down).

This person also described the teenager as a “homely” girl and stated “natural selection will take its course” – which a reasonable person may take as meaning that she will never have children and her line will die out. Some may suggest it implies contemplation of violence against her if this was not the case.

That demonstrates their interest in this – this person is a supporter of Ms Riley who took her side, to the extent of carrying out a breach of another person’s privacy – and of Twitter’s rules..

So far, I have received 51 tweets from this person. I would have preferred to have none.

They have attacked IPSO’s finding in my favour after several national newspapers accused me of anti-Semitism and depicted me as a “loony goon”, a “chippy goon”, a “‘hard’ left goon”, a “plonker”, someone with “no career, future or health to fight for”, of “foul qualities”, a “liar” and “fantasist”, writing a “blog of bile”.

There have been other comments of the four-letter kind that I will not repeat here.

This person would not have crossed my path if I hadn’t taken issue with Ms Riley.

This person has proved the basis of the claim I made about her – that her behaviour towards another Twitter user has induced her followers to launch their own campaigns of abuse against that other user.

Now who’s the goon?

That’s a rhetorical question; if my crowdfunding campaign doesn’t receive your help, I won’t be able to present these arguments in court and my abuser will have the last laugh – so 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.

It doesn’t matter whether Rachel Riley asked this person to harass me; it hs happening because of her.

Let’s show them both the error of these underhand methods.

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
(
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:

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

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

This will be awkward – IF Riley libel case gets to court

Take a look at this:

I’m not going to comment on the behaviour of the person named as “Tim” in the exchange above, but part of Rachel Riley’s case against me is that it wasn’t “targeted harassment” when Tracy-Ann Oberman sent 18 tweets to a terrified schoolgirl … within a single hour.

And those were just some of the dozens of tweets she sent to the same girl over a 24-hour period.

I’m looking forward to seeing them explain their way out of that one.

But it won’t happen unless I have the funds to defend myself against the wild claims of Ms Oberman and her friend Ms Riley.

The crowdfunding campaign needs your help so 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.

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

Let’s expose the hypocrisy.

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 is caught in a contradiction: it seems it IS about money after all

What do you think of this apparent hypocrisy?

Last year, announcing that he had been hired by Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman to prepare lawsuits against people they said had libelled them, lawyer Mark Lewis said:

“This is not about money… They’re not looking to enrich themselves by taking legal action. They’re looking to stop vile lies.”

You can read him saying it very clearly in The Guardian and also in MetroThe Mirror, the Evening Standard, the Daily Star and other news outlets.

How interesting – because if it isn’t about money, the following reason for this week’s decision to halt proceedings against Jane Heybroek makes no sense at all:

“Their libel insurers did not see any advantage in pursuing a case over the liability of a retweet that was deleted so quickly and therefore paid a very modest sum. Regrettably the defamatory tweeter lives in South America and has no visible assets.

“‘There are bigger fish to fry, in the pursuit of those who choose to maintain a serious libel.'”

[This is from a tweet by Ms Riley that she has since taken down. It referred to another case as well, so I won’t reproduce it here. I do have a copy, though.]

First let’s put one line straight: the case against Ms Heybroek arose from her decision to retweet a link to an article by Shaun Lawson – as did all the other cases to which Mr Lewis was referring in his 2019 comment. The description of him as “the defamatory tweeter” is false as he has never faced court proceedings. No judge has passed comment about him.

More important, though, is the fact that Ms Riley has never tried to bring any such proceedings directly against him. Because he “has no visible assets”? That would contradict Mr Lewis’s comment that “they’re not looking to enrich themselves… They’re looking to stop vile lies.”

If Ms Riley really wanted to stop any “vile lies” she claims are in the article that Ms Heybroek retweeted, then she would have pursued Mr Lawson. She hasn’t done so. The only reason for the decision, that I can see, is that it won’t result in a cash return.

If it wasn’t “about money”, then why did she and Tracy-Ann Oberman pursue Ms Heybroek, knowing that she had deleted her tweet and it was not possible to assert that it had influenced anyone?

If it wasn’t “about money”, then why are RR and TAO not personally paying Ms Heybroek’s costs in full?

If it wasn’t “about money”, then why did RR issue a tweet touting for new cases to bring to court, implying that she would give the proceeds to charities?

If it wasn’t “about money”, then why is RR pursuing me with vexatious court applications that seem intended to run down the crowdfunded cash that you have generously donated to help me? Like Mr Lawson, I don’t have any assets worth mentioning.

And if it is about “looking to stop vile lies” then why is RR trying to run down my funds now, rather than taking her evidence to a full trial? I have made it clear all along that I consider her behaviour to be an attempt to drain me of cash before a judge gets to hear the evidence in the case.

This week’s revelations make it clear that Ms Riley herself has contributed very little towards these court cases; her legal team is employed on a “no win, no fee” basis and she has also taken out insurance – it is her insurers who have paid compensation to Ms Heybroek.

So it seems all the risk is being taken by her victims – people like myself whose lack of funds make us highly vulnerable to predatory litigation.

Of course, I may be wrong. What do you think? Please feel free to answer by doing one or several of the following:

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.

These cases can be “about money” even if the people bringing them don’t directly benefit – because they can deprive other people of their own finances.

I’ve always said that’s what seems to be happening here – with the knock-on result that people like myself would be unable to fight the libel assertion and people like Ms Riley would have their way regarding “vile lies” too – without having to prove a thing.

Some of you might consider that to be a misuse of the justice system that should be stopped.

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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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