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There has been some interest in the likely cost of defending legitimate news reporting against a Bexley Councillor who
required the news to be removed as the truth might damage her business. The real expense
was of course caused by a Police Sergeant in Swanley who appears to be totally clueless about
the law relating to Court reporting and journalism in general.
At present I do not know what the total cost will be. The first solicitor I saw was looking for something in the region of £25,000 to run a two day trial during which he thought he could totally humiliate the Councillor in question. I was only looking to be found innocent and it seemed to me at the time that with the maximum possible fine being £5,000 it might be more sensible to plead guilty.
I am expecting a bill for the advice given that day but as yet it hasn’t arrived.
A second solicitor thought the job could be done for £3,600 which he demanded up front. In the event he had to do nothing apart from spending an hour and a half taking notes about the background to the harassment nonsense.
A couple of days ago I was told I am due a refund but how big I do not yet know. The solicitor will also be seeking reimbursement of costs but the Conservative government has changed the rules to ensure that true justice is consigned to the history books. I will, if I am recompensed at all, only get costs at the Legal Aid rate.
I doubt I will organise any crowd funding for what will likely turn out to be a relatively small expenditure, I shall look at it as a necessary expense incurred while exposing the standards of behaviour one can expect from a Conservative Councillor in Bexley. Well some of them anyway.
Meanwhile a couple of readers have been incredibly generous, an anonymous £40 tumbled through my letter box a couple of weeks ago and this morning a large brown envelope flopped on to the doormat. Inside were four £20 notes.
How about that then? How can such people be thanked?
The sleepless nights and weight loss have however had one very positive effect. The number of Twitter followers has been quickly boosted by 120. It is not a way of increasing numbers that I would wholeheartedly recommended.