In recent days I have been asked not to make any further reference to Councillor Maxine Fothergill’s libel case and
to withdraw what has been said so far. Reasons given range from the case has
nothing to do with Bexley Council through to it damaging AMAX Estates, Councillor Fothergill’s business.
Having spent eight years exposing Bexley Council lies and picking fault with all three parties at one time or another, suppressing any relevant issue, especially such a big one, must surely be wrong. My personal view is that if one shows favouritism, integrity flies out of the window. Publicity may well damage AMAX Estates but being economical with the truth is what Bexley Council does, not this blog, so there is no real alternative to publication so long as everything can be backed up by documentary evidence.
Getting hold of those documents proved to be a torturous process but they are here now in both paper and electronic format.
After leaving readers dangling without the ultimate proof of what has been reported it is essential that something is made available as soon as possible so this evening BiB presents the basics of the agreement made in Court. It is called a Consent Order and includes the names and addresses of 274 residents in AMAX managed properties who were sent the libellous letter.
The majority of those tenants are Bexley residents and their details are entirely redacted from the documents published here.
Today BiB will restrict itself to documentary evidence that requires no interpretation. The initial read through produced more than one gasp of disbelief because they struck me as implausible to say the least, some of the AMAX internal messages appeared to be encouraging dishonesty and one of the major defence exhibits is a document which gives the impression of being a forgery. Who would put such a thing before a judge?
This is not like the every day event of Bexley Conservatives lying on Twitter and hoping to fool a gullible population, it is a Bexley Councillor apparently attempting to bamboozle a High Court Judge and expecting to get away with it.
The big libel was that an AMAX employee had misappropriated a large sum of money when it would seem that she did no more than refuse an invitation to be a party to what she judged to be malpractice. That employee, Hayley Warnes, was made the scapegoat for an unaccounted £26,000 and reported to the police. Additionally a Private Investigator was hired to track her movements and a Court Order obtained to forensically examine Ms. Warnes financial affairs. Nothing untoward was found.
Ms. Warnes was under arrest from 9th April 2015 until 7th March 2016 and was pregnant for most of that time. The police and the Court found the allegations to be unfounded and one would think that Councillor Fothergill must have known the truth of the matter but let Hayley suffer the stress anyway.
She was not the only person involved in this business who Councillor Fothergill had arrested but the other lady did not take any action for libel.
The critical libellous statement is unfortunately omitted from the papers so far obtained but the recipients’ addresses represent a close link to Bexley. A copy has been requested. (It became available from the document Index page on 19th November 2017.)
Meanwhile an extract from a letter which says much the same thing
It is important to recognise that these accusations were judged in Court to be entirely unfounded and
constructed to cover sums of money that had gone missing; where, no one is absolutely sure.
Obviously there is more to this story to come including less than honourable behaviour by Kent Police but for the moment there has been time to put only four documents on line.
The High Court’s Consent Order.
The settlement order agreed in Court.
Councillor Fothergill’s letter of apology.
Councillor Fothergill’s statement in Court.
As already stated, the agreed damages totalled £70,000 and the Court and similar costs - I have the estimated legal bill itemised by the claimant’s solicitor - comes to more than £280,000.