During the time I was a driver I racked up over 18 parking “fines”, I can remember only 18 but I know there have been more…they kind of all blur into one over time. Of those “fines” I only ever paid the first one, because I didn’t at that point understand the way they work. Yet I have never been taken to a magistrate’s court or prosecuted for it in any way. The reason for this is that I don’t fight them….I embrace them and accept them.

Because all parking charges are illegal!

Whenever I tell people this they tend to think I’m a bit mental and I suppose I am a bit…but it doesn’t mean I’m not right.

I have a document that can be downloaded from here that will twist the council into a knot so tight they can’t escape without admitting the truth or breaking the law.

This isn’t about fighting the system because frankly the system is so heavily stacked against you that if you try in almost all cases the system will beat you into the ground. This is about getting the system to fight against its self by using it to your advantage.

This is a tactic I have used against 3 separate local councils countless times and I have always won.

From now on I’m going to refer to the parking charge notice as a PCN.



Ok so that’s the usual disclaimer out of the way now let’s bust some myths.

A PCN is not a fine, a bill or a demand. It is an offer to discuss the notice with which you have been served, if you ignore it then you are accepting the views the notice expresses, namely that you owe the council money, this is why they always give you a deadline which legally they have to, once the deadline expires you have by not replying accepted that the notice is true and valid. Once you do that then you are liable for prosecution if you don’t pay.

So to fight back you answer the notice by discharging a notice of your own. Here is the letter template to download, just fill in the blanks with your details and away you go, print a copy for yourself also and keep it. Please note that you must send this by recorded delivery so that they have to sign for it and can’t deny that they have received it.

This document is very powerful, very threatening yet very polite all at the same time, this letter warns not try and use the 2007 road traffic act  as it is not valid (and it isn’t). The document reminds them of the common law regarding the nature of this PCN and questions the authority of the person issuing it to do so. The last page of the document is a legal affidavit (they have to fill that part in so send it to them blank) for them to sign stating that the PCN is lawful, they won’t sign it of course because they know it isn’t lawful and by signing it they would be seriously incriminating themselves. More importantly you aren’t denying the possibility that you may be liable to pay the charge, you are just asking for proof that it is legal (which is your legal right). The document ends by offering to deal with their claim at a charge of £750…and of course you want the money up front ;-)


The Council can’t prosecute you because there is no conflict to the PCN, you are conditionally accepting it once you have proof it is legal. You satisfied the legal requirement to respond to their notice and now the emphasis is on the council  to satisfy the notice you sent them

So now the council can either admit that all PCN’s are not lawful (they won’t do that) or they can break the law and continue to pursue you for the money in which case you can bring a private prosecution against them….contact me if you want to do this and I’ll talk you through it (it’s easier than you think).

Different councils operate differently so the response you get is generally a variation on the same sort of thing

I have used this method against Wakefield council, Hull city council and Leeds city council the response has always been the same…a weak computer printed letter stating they will pass my letter on to their legal department and be in touch…nothing was ever heard again. The only thing they really can do is try to fob you off because if they quash the charge they are admitting defeat so they choose these silly face saving letters instead.


If in the very very unlikely event that they send back some form of garbage refusing to drop the matter I have included a second document hitting them harder and also ending with a second affidavit. Send them again by recorded delivery with the affidavit blank.

There really is no way out for them now.

Parking charges are not about traffic management or rules of the road…they are nothing but a racket to extort money from average people and we already fund them by paying council tax so why the hell should we give them more ?


I get loads of messages asking for help from people who have fallen foul of the dirty tricks that debt collection agencies use. When I explain that it’s a trick many people don’t believe me or at least need a detailed explanation. So instead of sending out the same thing time and time again I thought I’d list the tactics you can expect from a debt collection agency and explain why they are nonsense so as to make a point of reference for people in the situation.

Some of these tricks you might think are illegal…but sadly they aren’t but they should be. Unfortunately this whole industry is largely unregulated so it gives rise to all kinds of shameful tactics because there’s nobody around to stop them.


So to start with here’s the worst of them…the one that most people fall victim to.


This is the one that scares most people, it comes hand delivered, and it’s a pre-printed form with the details written in hand. Often they give a time and date when they will be back to remove your goods even if you are not home. You are then given a mobile number of the “enforcement agent” to contact immediately.

Here is a copy of a real letter my friend got only 3 days ago, obviously I have edited out the personal details but I have left everything else, even the name and phone number of the “enforcement agent”. Have a look.

Removal Letter2

The truth:

They get some dreary soul to drive around a massive area with a box full of these pre-printed forms, he arrives at an address and quickly writes in the details of the person, he then sneaks up to the house and posts it almost always without knocking. This guy is basically a leaflet distributer, the phone number on the form isn’t the guy who delivered it really, in fact it’s just the moron in charge of the dreary souls, and he gets commission for every “debt” he brings in. They put the time they will return so as to add pressure on you and make you scrabble around for the money. The reality is they aren’t coming back at all; it’s a trick so ignore it

To come and remove your things would require a court warrant…but even then it wouldn’t give them power to force entry. You would have had court letters long before a warrant was issued.  If the original debt was a magistrate’s fine they would still need to go back to court to get a court order so you would have got two sets of court documents.


If this is for a normal debt that wasn’t a magistrates fine then got to my blog on how to crush 99% of debt and follow the steps to crush the debt.

If it’s for a magistrate’s fine then I’m afraid you will have to pay…but not the debt collection agency. Work out what you can afford to pay and then contact the magistrates…tell them an amount lower than what you can afford so you have some wiggle room then they will work out a payment schedule with you. The original fine is now gone but the debt collection agency may try to pursue you for their commission so just go to my blog about crushing debt and follow the steps to crush them.

This next one is my favourite



You get an official looking letter claiming to be from a firm of solicitors acting on behalf of their client. Google the solicitors and you often find a real website and everything .The letter will contain contact numbers to call and if you call them you will hear the phone being answered by a legal secretary.  A lot of people get scared by these things as it makes them believe that legal action is imminent

The truth:

The website is owned by the debt company, the contact numbers go through to dedicated phone in the debt collector’s office so when it rings the staff know to answer the phone with “hello this is bullshit, liars & tosspots….solicitors at law”, but unlike real solicitors they just happen to take payment over the phone.


They don’t have a leg to stand on and they know it so they are pulling any trick out of the hat. Go to my crushing debt blog and follow the steps.


You get a letter with little information on it, it tells you to call a certain number and quote a certain reference number, and it signs off saying it is regarding an urgent matter. This trick snares a lot of people purely because they don’t know what it is and call the number in all innocence.

The truth:

This letter is a fishing exercise, they use it when either they aren’t sure if you live there or you have ignored previous debt letters. The aim is to get you on the phone where you will be recorded…they will then use pressure tactics to try and get you to enter into a verbal contract, if you do they will have a valid debt to chase against you with a recording to prove it instead of an unenforceable debt which they have at the moment.

WHAT TO DO: if you have made the mistake of calling them, then as soon as they tell you it is regarding a debt either put the phone straight down or tell them to send you a letter. Do not acknowledge the debt exists as this can be used as proof they have a claim against you…and they are recording it. Once they write to you just follow the steps in my blog about crushing debt. If you didn’t call them then do nothing…sooner or later they will write to identifying themselves and then follow the steps I set out in my crushing debt blog.

So there you have the main weapons these people use, you might ask yourself why they use them. The reason is that they are really just salesmen trying to sell you a contract.

Let’s face facts, if somebody turned up at your door and said “hello there, I have a contract here and if you sign it you will be agreeing to pay me money for no real reason, do you mind signing it? I can’t force you but will you sign it anyway?” imagine what your answer would be?

So they have to use these stupid pantomime tricks

They are not debt collectors they are salesmen, nothing more

Remember that guys and gals ;-)

Guidance on Tv licensing

Ok so a lot of people have been asking about Tv license issues so here is my guide to avoiding paying it and also what to do if caught without one.

I left home 20 years ago and in that time I have owned two tv licenses both for roughly 6 months, I have been caught without a license nine times…yet I have never been prosecuted, never been to jail and never been fined any amount because I know the real truth about this whole racket.

There are a lot of misconceptions about the TV license. A lot of lies have been and still are being told by the BBC. The name alone is misleading as the license is not for the tv but for receiving broadcast television. So I’m going to bust some of the myths for the benefit of all those who have been messaging me. so let’s dispel those myths

TV detector vans do not exist!!! this is a clever propaganda trick to scare people into paying up like good little sheep. They track you through other methods such as the electoral role and commercial information that you volunteer like when you buy a tv in a store they ask you for your address.

TV license evasion is not a criminal offence!! yes I know you’ve seen the adverts saying that it is…well believe it or not the TV is lying to you because it is in their interests to deceive you.

You will not go to jail for not having a license, yes I know you’ve heard of people who go to jail for license evasion…well that is another lie. What happens is they get taken to a magistrate’s court, get a fine and don’t pay the fine…that is why they went to jail…not paying the fine (which is a criminal offence) but you are mislead into believing it was because they didn’t have a license.

You don’t need a license for watching TV on a phone, tablet, laptop or Pc despite what you have been told…more lies.

Ever since January I have been legally license free, I watch downloaded content only, I download what I want to watch and pipe it through to my TV through a HDMI cable, if I want to watch a tv programme I use a free catch up TV service on the web and stream it to my TV via the same method. This means I don’t need a license.

The people who come out to catch you work for a private company called capita, the BBC got tired off all the bed press that came with enforcing the license so they handed it over to capita so as not to damage the BBC brand. The employees get a bonus for every license they sell on the doorstep. So stop thinking of them as enforcers and start thinking of them as salesmen!!!!

Here is a list of powers these people have




Long list wasn’t it?

Given a chance these people will read out a caution to you……this is a stupid  pantomine trick that loads of people fall for. they can’t legally caution you , only a policeman can do that….it’s nothing more than a scare tactic

You may get those “official warnings” and “notice of impending action” letters, these are computer generated and sent out by the hundred thousand. They are merely a psychological tactic to scare you much like the letters debt collections agencies use.

Here is what to do if a Capita salesman shows up at your door and you don’t have a license.

DONT let them in, they have no power of entry

DON’T give your name or identify yourself as the occupier, this destroys them because they need you to volunteer the information and without it they can take no action….they can’t issue a summons for Mr or Mrs nobody, like most things in this country it is purely relying on the information you voluntarily give.

DO: tell them to go away or make an excuse why they can’t come in and why you have to close the door.

I’m on shaky legal ground here…if I encourage you to evade the license fee then that would be highly immoral and I could be incriminating myself I’m not really sure on that score.

So you should like…totally buy a license now…and don’t be such a naughty sheep ever again


I have heard stories of people contacting the TV licensing people and telling them they no longer receive broadcast TV…while still continuing to do so ;-) , if you do TVL will refund you whatever is left on your license as they did with me when I went license free. They will send you a letter telling you that they may do a visit to confirm this. I went license free in January yet nobody has ever come to my door and even if they did I would never let them in out of principle.

Lastly here is a transcript I had with a TVL doorstep visitor I had back in 1997, it was 8am in the morning and  I had just finished a 15 hour night shift, I was shattered and badly needed a shower and my bed. So as you can imagine I wasn’t in the best of moods. I remember it well because it was my first run in with these guys and in my ignorance I did worry about what would happen for weeks after.


TVL: hello are you the occupier?

ME: yeah who are you?

TVL: TV licensing enforcement, we have no record of a TV license at this address. Do you watch Television?

ME: no not at all

(you could clearly hear the voice of a TV presenter reading the news)

TVL: could I quickly come inside and do a visit to confirm this?

ME: no piss off

TVL: I can hear your TV, we can sit down and sign you up for a license right now and you won’t get prosecuted.

ME:I don’t need a license I haven’t got a telly

TVL: come on mate I can hear the TV from here, either you can sign up for a license with me now which will take 5 minutes or you can get prosecuted and face a fine of up to £1000 or imprisonment

ME: I’d like to get prosecuted now f*ck off

Then I slammed the door on him

I didn’t get prosecuted and never heard a single word about it after that, nobody else ever came to visit me at that house.



I have had lots of positive feedback about my blog on how to crush debt at but a lot of people have messaged me with worries about Bailiffs so here is a guide on how to destroy a bailiff. This is perfectly legal (unlike the way Bailiffs act).

I did shy away from doing this as the Bailiffs issue is a complex one that involves various different factors and levels, but people are asking for help so I’ll have a crack at it.

Some of you may have been watching the channel 5 fly on the wall documentary called “can’t pay we’ll take it away” which is all about Bailiffs. Ignore everything regarding the law that you hear on that programme, it is little more than corporate propaganda that gives you a highly selective series of instances designed to make the Bailiffs look like cuddly lovely people….they aren’t and if the cameras weren’t there you would see the real side of them. When I first saw that I was astounded that channel 5 are allowed to get away with blatantly giving a false impression of the law…but it does make for good entertainment I’ll give them that…just remember that’s all it is, entertainment.




First I should point out that if things have gotten to this stage you have already made quite a big mistake, there are plenty of chances to nip this in the bud before it gets to this stage and I explain them in my previous blog, but let’s assume you hadn’t read it and only now need the help.

I personally have never had a Bailiff at my door because I crush the debt before it gets to that stage

So if you have had a letter telling you the Bailiffs are coming, which you should because bailiffs are usually meant to give you 7 days notice.

First ask yourself…are they really Bailiffs? Debt companies often impersonate Bailiffs just to scare you into submission by sending fake Bailiffs letters, I almost fell for this trick once myself.

Google the company, that should tell you all you need to know about them and weather they are licensed to act as Bailiffs

Here are the two easiest courses of action to take.


Bailiffs charge an extortionate fee that is lumped on top of the debt, contact the company you originally owed the debt to and make an offer of payment , this will cut the bailiffs off at the kneecaps and also means they won’t get their fee, they won’t like it but who cares? If you’re lucky you may have to deal with a debt company, offer a payment plan, they will call off the bailiffs and when the debt company sends you the payment schedule follow the steps in my crushing debt blog to destroy the debt.


This is my personal favourite because…well frankly I love a good verbal battle. There are several ways to do this, some of the people in my community of debt resistors favour the full blown resistance tactic. Meeting them with crowds of people, chanting “scum” and “shame on you”.

Here is a much easier tactic to get rid of them

Firstly if at all possible film them, it will keep the bailiffs on their best behaviour and make sure they don’t overstep the law as a lot of bailiffs do break the law simply because you have no evidence to prove they didn’t or you don’t know enough about to the law to know they are breaking it.

Here are the points to memorise before the Bailiffs arrive, take them to heart.




THEY CAN’T FORCE ENTRY, OR BRUSH PAST YOU (this is why it’s important to film them as many do try this)





Once you take these facts on board you are appropriately armed, in our community we call this “losing the fear”

Keep your door locked or they may just walk straight in without knocking

If you have a car don’t worry, it’s usually safer to park it away from your house just in case they try something illegal and sneaky

When the Bailiff knocks firstly ask to see I.D, this will confirm that they are Bailiffs and not some other person calling for an innocent reason, they will ask for the person who is the debtor.

Deny you are that person, tell them that person moved out a few weeks ago….they will ask you who you are, refuse to give your name or give them a fake name, that’s your choice.

Refuse to answer any questions and ask them to leave or you will call the police….if you don’t feel confident doing that then just make an excuse like your baby needs you or you have to go out somewhere.

There is a very good video here that shows you the perfect way to get shut of a Bailiff, if you’re in doubt then have a nosy at it

Ok so you’re lying but it’s not illegal to lie to a Bailiff and frankly these people are the worst kind of liars…personally I think lying to a liar isn’t a sin.

Now the warrant they have is useless unless they can prove the goods they are here to remove belong to the debtor and they can’t make you volunteer that information…if they remove goods that belong to somebody other than the debtor then its theft and they know it.

In 90% of instances this will kick the debt back to the debt collection agency and then just follow the steps in my blog about crushing debt to get rid of it once and for all.

In the other 10% the bailiff will be back and it will probably be a different person, in which case repeat the same step…ask for I.D (frankly you should always ask unknown callers for I.D anyway). The debt will get kicked back to the debt collector’s agency after 1-3 visits.

If in the unlikely event this goes to a 3rd visit you can now invoke the protection from harassment act…throw it in their faces …you will be surprised by the reaction. Then it should be kicked back to the original debt collection agency so just follow the steps in my previous blog to crush the debt.


So this guide should give you enough ammunition to squash the Bailiffs in most scenarios

Don’t let it get to that stage in future ;-)




In my time I have run up huge amounts of debt that in most cases I had no intention of paying, yet I have never set foot in a small claims court and have never paid a penny of it back. Sadly I was stupid and didn’t learn about debt law until it was too late to save my credit rating.

Obviously I’m not really qualified to give you legal advice; I happen to be a guy who had his back against the wall more than a few times with debt and was forced to find a way out.

This method I’m blogging about…well all I can say is that I’ve been using it since 2009 and in the time since then I have managed to get £20,000 worth of debt written off. I got into debt often deliberately, I don’t suggest anybody do this and if I had my time again I wouldn’t do it.

If you get worried or stressed with these steps I’m only a message away, I promise you I will have been in the same boat many times before and I don’t charge for my time.


Ok so that’s the disclaimer out of the way lets get to it ;-)


Once a debt is transferred to a debt company it becomes void and unenforceable!!!!!!!

Sounds crazy doesn’t it?

But it’s true

Yet a debt company will still pursue you for the money, why do they do this? Because people don’t know the law and nobody in any position of power has anything to gain by educating you. It is all a massive con. From now on for sake of ease I’m going to refer to debt collection agencies as DCA…mainly because I’m lazy.

Here are the dos and don’ts if you get a letter from a DCA

DON’T be afraid !!!!, the main tactic of the DCA is fear, the letter is designed to instill fear and make you pay up like a good little sheep

DON’T worry, they have no power and no claim against you, I will explain why shortly

DON’T sign any payment agreement or make any verbal agreement

DON’T call the premium rate phone number…or any phone number they give you, all they will do is use pressure tactics on you.

DON’T speak to them on the phone, if they call you put the phone down immediately, they are recording it and can use it against you

DON’T give any payment details over the phone or by letter no matter what they say, they will plunder your bank account and leave you penniless

DON’T believe a word they say, they are liars who have nothing to gain by being truthful and everything to gain by lying

DON’T try to argue with them about the amounts or anything else, you are in control not them.

DON’T think they are going to come banging at your door. Most DCA’s don’t have the staff and if in the very unlikely event that somebody does knock just treat them like any cold caller or Jehovah’s Witness because they have about as much power as them.

DON’T think they are going to take you to court, most DCAs threaten this but usually the most you will get is a few scary letters and after a year or so they will quietly drop the debt or sell it to another DCA and the whole process begins again

DO send any letters to them by recorded delivery then they can’t say they didn’t get it

DO keep the letters, DCA’s often try to lie and claim they haven’t said things that they clearly have.

DO laugh at the silly scary red lettering they use and the fear inducing things they say…it’s all hot air and bluster. My personal favourite is the fake solicitors letters that they manufacture to frighten people…makes me chuckle every time lol


Here’s how to crush the debt in a nutshell.

In order for debt to legally be considered debt it has to meet certain criteria. There must be a credit agreement or service contract signed with a wet signature from the provider (the original company you owed money to) and you (the debtor).

So ask yourself this…did you sign a service agreement or credit agreement with the DCA? No you didn’t so the letter you got isn’t really a debt letter, it’s an offer to make a contract which you have to voluntarily enter into…and who wants to enter into a contract purely for the pleasure of paying somebody money that you don’t legally owe ?

I have 3 letters you can send that will cut the DCA off at the knee caps. you can download the documents directly from here as you will see the links to do so.They already have the legal details filled in and all you need to do is enter your own details into the blank sections, make two copies of each letter, keep one of them and send the other (by registered post of course).

The key here is agreement; a DCA can only take you to small claims court if you are not in compliance with their demands. These letters are phrased in such a way that you are complying but the DCA are not so there is no case to answer.

Here are the steps

Step one:

Send the first letter.

This letter basically says “oh dear sorry old chap of course I will pay you” I just need to see a copy of the agreement signed between me and you (which of course they don’t have). It also warns them that if they try to lie they may face a charge of perjury, tells them not in any circumstances to contact you by telephone. The letter ends telling them if they do not respond within 10 days then by not responding they are agreeing that the debt is void


Wait ten days

Some DCAs will back down straight away but most will send you a letter full of bluff and bluster. If the letter is not an agreement to void the debt then ignore it but keep it…it’s just another step in the dance ;-)

Step two:

Send letter number two:

This turns up the heat, your time is money, dealing with this illegal debt is costing you money, this letter threatens to charge them per letter and if they don’t respond within 10 days they are agreeing to the charges schedule (they hate having the tables turned on them). It also warns them not to even try and tamper with your credit file or they will be liable to a large fine and/or criminal charges


Wait another ten days

Send letter three:

The knockout blow !!!, now you are upping the charges to £1000, again warning them of perjury and fraud charges…basically saying put up or shut up. I can give you the letters to go about getting money from them but as somebody who has done it I can tell that it’s fiddly and time consuming but I did once take a company called Westcott for £500 after they messed with my credit file.

99% of DCAs will send you a letter full of more bluff and bluster making it sound like they are doing you a favour by wiping the debt but the important point is that you have won.

A very small proportion of DCAs will continue to send you letters but won’t touch your credit file….it’s your choice if you want to try and charge them, the steps for that would probably require a blog all on its own to explain though

all this will cost you is the price of sending 3 letters by recorded delivery.

If enough people fight back we can put an end to this corrupt racket and take the power away from these people

Don’t be a sheep, be a wolf ;-)


Finally got my I.T certification in the post today and it brought back horrible memories of the longest week of my life doing the training course involved . “Come to our training centre” they said , “get I.T training for free” they said . It reminds of those lying army recruitment posters that claimed being a soldier was all about living it up in the sun and having fun in tropical locations. I ought to have recognised the trap but I fell for it all the same .


So I show up for this course to find I’m the only one there by choice ! The rest are long term unemployed wretches being forced to attend by various benefit agencies , when I say unemployed I should probably have said unemployable too !! I wound up sandwiched between two neanderthals who clearly knew each other, leaving me no choice about being involved in their conversations.


The guy on my left who was nicknamed “brekker” for reasons he never made clear launched into a long monologue about how some woman he’d been seeing had called him a low life loser , his response was to head butt her car while she was driving away…I looked at him and said “Darwin must be spinning in his grave” …he didn’t get it !!! after staring at me in a blank uncomprehending way for about 15 seconds he then decided it was a compliment !!


In desperation I turned to the other guy who at least had a nickname I could get my head round (pisser) , being the nice guy I am I offered to help him out with the course work , only to find he’s using the computer to go on Facebook and is busily typing up a death threat !! apparently some guy was giving him the “evils” while he was out on the town one night so now that warranted his execution . I jokingly commented that there’s nothing like a social networking sites for promoting personal relationships….he looked at me as if I’d just accused him of interfering with dogs . Wearing a genuinely hurt expression on his face he informed me “I don’t go on social networking sites , they’re for losers who aint got no mates”


“errrr but Facebook is a…..” (no….no leave it alone jon move on and change the subject) “that guy you’re typing a death threat to , why is he on your Facebook friend list?”


“he’s mi mate , we ave a laff sometimes”


“can’t fault your logic mate”




After enduring a full day of grunting conversation from the Brothers Dim I approached the course tutor and asked if she would move me places . The lady tutor very politely informed me that before the course starts we were all assessed on our abilities and learners were seated with people who were at the same level of ability…….I swear to god I had a mini stroke right there and then !


The same level ???? I’m at the same level as these two mouth breathers ? Are you kidding ??? those two troglodytes didn’t even know how to open Microsoft excel until I showed them how…I’d spent 6 hours wet nursing them through the course work and being repeatedly referred to as “blood” but somebody somewhere had decided we were at the same level of ability …..again…can anybody help me with that logic ???


The scary thought is that when my generation retires , people like this are going to inherit the country, they are going to be the wealth generators that pay our pensions and keep the wheels on the economy . They might even wind up holding the reigns of power. I can just see the Prime Minister when I’m 70 giving a speech in the house of commons “hey yaw , big shout out to all da bloods , I is working dat budget fing like ah own it”


I had to endure 4 more days of pure torture , I tried to educate them about debt laws , getting around those stupid school attendance fines , avoiding having to have a tv license but they reacted like I was trying to teach them so kind of satanic power that’d damn them to the fires of hell for all eternity .


In the end both brekker and pisser passed the course (with no small amount of help from me) . We had our last conversation in the training room while they waited for both their girlfriends to meet up with them outside


“give mi your Facebook blood and I’ll chuck you an add”


“errr sure ok”


“what’s yer name”


“john parks…add me if you like”


“yeah yeah sweet”


And then came the final insult…their girlfriends arrived, they were both attractive and intelligent women.


What the frig ???????

True story

The justice injustice

The justice injustice

I wonder how many people remember Christopher Jefferies ? In 2010 he was wrongly arrested for the murder of landscape architect Jo Yeates . I just read an interesting article by him about his time as a suspect and the way the media set about vilifying him . I remember it pretty well , News outlets ran a photo of him looking rather creepy with his wind-swept and wild-looking grey hair wearing a smug smirk on his face .

I remember thinking at the time that the Press had deliberately chosen that picture to convey something odd , sinister and arrogant about the poor man. Stories began to emerge in the papers about him with lurid headlines such as “the strange Mr Jefferies” , “Jo suspect is Peeping Tom” and “Angry weirdo had foul temper” , all of which turned out to be fabrication .

At the time I was sat watching bbc news with a friend of mine and I remarked with no small amount of irony that the right honorable judge Fleet street had delivered his verdict so let’s get the firing squad ready !!

Pictures began to be circulated on Facebook under the tagline “hang this vile scum” . However I’m very proud to say I defended him , on Facebook and other forums I argued rabidly that he had not been charged and had a right to a trial by jury , that even if he was a weirdo , peeping tom or had a foul temper Christopher Jefferies had a right to a fair trial and that none of us had seen or heard any of the evidence against him. I consider it a matter of personal pride that I got a number of death threats not to mention all kinds of insults and I was suitably smug when 3 months later he was publicly cleared of any involvement. Shortly after all this the real culprit was caught and convicted .

A few years ago during the “Ipswich ripper” case the media once again excelled themselves when a man named Tom Stephens was arrested on suspicion of being the culprit . He was publicly named , they even went as far as to display his MySpace page on the rolling news . Like the nosy sod I am I went and had a look , the stuff people were posting on his page was horrendous . Being a total mouthy git who loves an argument I waded in and started messaging some of the people who had posted comments . Once again I pointed out that he hadn’t been charged , we hadn’t seen the evidence etc etc , the replies I got apart from the insults and threats generally seemed to be of the belief that I’m the crazy one (hold that thought)

Lately we’ve seen the rise of trial by social media , more and more I’m seeing pictures shared of people who have allegedly committed a range of crimes despite the fact that these people have not been charged , arrested or convicted . I chip in where I can and try to point out the facts but once again….I’m the crazy one (keep holding that thought)

Years and years ago I was chosen for jury duty , I can’t talk about the details of the case or the crime publicly because I’d be incriminating myself but as I sat with the other jurors and the defendant was brought into the dock for the first time I took a good look at the person. Shaven head , facial tattoos , shabby clothes and sunken knuckles , straight away the thought jumped into my head “guilty guilty guilty” . Luckily I gave myself a mental slap across the face and told myself how he looks should make no difference , his life choices make no difference , the evidence is all that matters but for a few seconds I was no better than the people I hate in the media and on the internet for doing the self same thing.

The one thing they tell you on jury service is to avoid the media as they can prejudice your judgement. Can anybody tell me how that’s possible ? The media are everywhere , it’s on the internet , the tv , it comes through the radio , they give free papers away on public transport and media reports get shared on social media (although Facebook wasn’t around when I did jury service) .

As much as I love social media I think it’s has made it impossible for anybody to get a fair trial since it has such a wide scope to prejudice people’s minds.

I’d like to see these shameless reporters and the corrupt police officers who leak case information to them go through the same ordeal as those poor people , to have their lives ripped open for public consumption , every dirty secret trotted out for all see and judge. I wonder how they’d like it ???

Trail by media and trial by social media have to be the most unfair form of justice since the witch trails were banned.

If thinking you’re the last sane person in the world makes you crazy then send me to the loony bin now……just make sure they have Wi-Fi ;-)


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