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While I was supposedly harassing Councillor Maxine Fothergill by reporting
her unfortunate experience in the High Court we were keeping up a daily
correspondence by both telephone and email.
My line was that I was simply reporting news, nothing more, nothing less, and her line was that if I did not wipe everything from the web her business would suffer. She also thought that she should be of no interest to BiB because what she had done was not done as a Councillor.
However Bexley Council has long maintained that a Councillor is a Councillor 24/7 and would it be reasonable to remain mute if a Councillor was found guilty of beating his wife? Or if Alex Sawyer was caught in his own yellow parking trap?
Councillor Fothergill sent this email…
21:37 13th November 2017
It is for the reason Ie it is already in the public domain that I please ask if you will remove this for me. As you are aware It has nothing to do with my position as a ward councillor and the only person it is truly hurting is me!
I am not particularly well as the stress this has cause me again is not good.
I look forward to receiving the attachments from you as soon as you receive them (hopefully before tomorrow morning)
(Tomorrow morning was the date of the Court hearing.)
Councillor Fothergill then followed up with another phone call to ask me to meet her in the Hilton Hotel by the Dartford Crossing at 7 p.m. in two days time and bring Ray Robson’s emails with me. I still had not received them but I felt pressurised into meeting as suggested.
When I eventually received Ray’s Press Pack it included a lot of Court documents and emails to and from Councillor Fothergill’s business associates. I decided I had no right to do anything with Ray Robson’s file that he had not authorised. When Councillor Fothergill next phoned I told her I could not meet her.
She sent another email
00:20 19th November 2017
Bob has told me to send this to you asap. You published one page which I guess is all you were provided with but as you will see there is much more to this as per the attached. (Please do not publish it)
You are being provided with ½ a story which is not surprising considering where you are obtaining your information from!
I am very much looking forward to seeing you with my files as I have so much solid facts and proven evidence to disprove the majority of what you have published to date.
My main concern however is not about me but my staff, what you are doing without having the full facts is causing my business so much trouble and in turn potentially putting 12 members out staff out of a job! Is this what you are hoping to achieve?
Anyway as mentioned you have heard only one side of the story and I am happy to answer your questions and show you all the facts and evidence on Tuesday as discussed which will give you the truth behind the lies you have been fed with to date.
I did not publish the supplied attachment, I already had Ray Robson’s copy which was more extensive and came with a full explanation.
Hers purported to show that a claim made against her by four business associates in May 2015 had been dismissed in the High Court of Justice Queen’s Bench Division by The Honourable Mr. Justice Dingemans. Ray’s document suggested to me that it had been dismissed only because the hearing had gone to the wrong Court. I decided that it was a legal complication best avoided but rightly or wrongly I did form the impression that Councillor Fothergill’s document in referring only to the dismissal may have been calculated to lead me astray.
I was also totally perplexed as to how Councillor Fothergill would be able to demonstrate to me that she was the innocent party when her legal team had failed to convince a Judge. Once again I decided that the only sensible thing to do was report the known facts and no more. Putting on a wig and trying to out-judge a Judge would be futile and unnecessarily lead to more and more blogs when I had already decided to write no more.
If I had been lied to as Councillor Fothergill was claiming it didn’t really matter, the agreement reached in Court was clear enough and that is all that was being reported.
I wrote what I thought was a conciliatory response twelve hours later which will appear here before too long but no one spends more than two or three minutes reading blogs so this one must end here. The same reason the libel case could not be reported in just one day. According to Kent Police the fact that I broke the news into more than one segment is why it is harassment. That’s an end to newspapers serialising stories then.
Twice I asked Kent Police how big they thought the news reports were and twice two hands were stacked about nine inches apart. It can only be because Councillor Fothergill has raked up the old Code of Conduct reports. When we met in September 2016 she was happy enough with my explanatory prefix but now it might add to her case against me, for good measure she has thrown in stuff she had previously agreed was OK.