Let us just wind back a bit. Back in DECEMBER, 2014 my wife made a complaint to West Midlands Police (WMP) about the harassment of herself and her employers by Cooper (and another), and by the host of Cooper-connected troll accounts that were then popping up. A statement was duly taken and a memory stick of evidence delivered to Steelhouse Lane police station in Birmingham. Unbelievably, WMP are still bullshitting and stringing my wife along that they are "investigating" this which is rather odd since, due to their gross delay, the six-month time limit for laying an information or complaint has long since passed and they have themselves - deliberately or negligently - blown my wife's complaint out of the water. It is quite possible that Cooper's friends within WMP have told him this which would explain the curious timing of his own complaint against me, now.
Compare and contrast with this. A week last Monday, Darren Cooper gave a statement to WMP alleging harassment by me. A Detective Sergeant was appointed, no less, and the very next day he phoned me to "invite" me to "voluntarily" attend a police station to be interviewed under caution. I agreed and spent two hours of valuable police time in a nick last Thursday - just four days after Cooper's complaint (and, coincidentally, just seven days after I had written a post highly critical of, er, WMP!) The officer had spent a considerable amount to time reading my blog and researching my hitherto crime-free background at considerable public expense but clearly the streets of the Black Country are so crime-free that valuable resources can be focussed on The Skidder.
So, as far as WMP is concerned, they will jump to attention for the Chair of the West Midlands Police and Crime Panel but not for some stupid whinging woman from Brum.
It is also noteworthy that some of the issues Cooper is now raising as allegedly causing him "alarm and distress" date from some considerable time ago - over 18 months in some cases! Is it just a coincidence that he has raised these issues now (a) very shortly after I submitted two particularly significant Freedom of Information Act requests to SMBC (which I will now forward to WMP) and (b) when it is common knowledge that he is manoeuvring for the top-job in the new Combined Authority and that my blog will be very harmful to him by publishing his numerous shortcomings to a much wider audience. If this matter proceeds to trial then this shy, retiring, little man will have to be subjected to very rigorous cross-examination indeed.......
I have also pointed out on tape to WMP that it is one thing to be genuinely put in fear and distress by threats and so on and it is a completely different thing when a person - in this case, Cooper - allegedly becomes "alarmed and distressed" because this blog is holding him and his rotten Council up to the glaring light of public scrutiny and he and the gang are being regularly "caught out"!
If anyone of you trouble to read the witterings of Cooper's new social media spokesperson, Mr Andrew Hipkiss (who claims to be suffering from mental illness), you will see that he has been picking away at me ever since my police station visit via Twitter (with the approval of his Master) although, no doubt, WMP would not class that as harassment along with all the other abuse and trolling. You can see this thanks to my archivist's great work via this link:
Old style-political bruiser and proven liar*, Cooper, has alleged to WMP that he is "alarmed and distressed" by me calling him "The Txxxxxxxxxx"/ "Txxxx" and "The Txxxxx xxxx" [censored my order of WMP]. Despite these all being blatantly obvious satirical references of very longstanding to a local politician's obsession with canine excrement, WMP have taken the view that because Cooper SAYS he is "alarmed and distressed" by this joshing this MUST BE TRUE and I have potentially committed a criminal offence! They are saying (which is challenged) that I have committed the actus reus and am somehow guilty despite not having the criminal intent, or mens rea (although I have put up a forceful defence via the taped interview and will continue to do so following proper legal advice).
Cooper has also claimed that my use of certain other words have also caused him "alarm and distress" although he has never tried to exercise his rights in civil law if he genuinely believes them to be untrue. In other words, he knows he would lose in a civil court because the words are not defamatory and so he is trying (and, so far,succeeding) to get WMP to shut me up instead. Let us consider them in turn:
1. "Txxxx Mxxxx" [censored by order of WMP] - it is not clear amidst all this nonsense whether it is only if I use the words in conjunction that I am falling foul of the law or if it is OK with the censors at WMP if I use them individually but I shall not be taking the risk pending further legal advice.
I have pointed out to WMP that Cooper's inane and illiterate Twitter is legendary and that he rarely misses an opportunity to parade his stupendous ignorance before an unsuspecting public. My blog has already given countless examples. Here is just one abusive message about a Sandwell resident when he is talking to Hipkiss - currently using the name Ennabran and formerly the now suspended OdgenW - (who has been abusing the same individual):
If you click on the link above you will see Cooper and Hipkiss are now acting in tandem today to try and get my twitter account shut down.
I should add that Cooper also won The Skidder's widely publicised national competition to find "Britain's Thickest Council Leader, 2015". (But he made no complaint about that to WMP).
I have repeatedly pointed out to WMP that it is a matter of grave public concern if Cooper does not have the intellect to fulfil his political role and this is a legitimate subject for scrutiny given his bizarre and childish public utterances and behaviour (particularly when he is also angling to lead "Greater Birmingham").
2. "Wxxxx xxxxxxx xxxx"; "Sxxx" and "Bxxxx xxx". Leaving aside certain information which I gave to the Police which, alas, must remain confidential at present, it is a matter of fact that Cooper has used his own Twitter account and teamed up with his chum from Unite to harass and abuse my wife, her employers and a charity of which she is a voluntary trustee (see my post "Labour Leader & Unite Officer Harass Arts Charity" and others). He has also specifically caused Sandwell Council to take steps to try and have my wife dismissed from her job for no reason other than that she has the misfortune to be married to me. That behaviour - from a private individual let alone a prominent local politician allegedly "leading" a multi-million local authority - makes him deserving of the epithets used but, of course, it gets far worse....
Cooper and his chum suddenly stopped attacking my wife and I at the end of November 2014 but then we faced a complete sh*t storm of vile abuse via a string of Twitter troll accounts including false allegations of my wife's alleged immorality, that I had killed a child whilst drunk-driving, that I had been guilty of financial fraud plus hints that I am a paedophile unsuitable to undertake voluntary work with children. Cooper's chum even pretended to be out of the country during some of the worst of the abuse which was not true - he was in Dudley the whole time. In a recent post dated 3rd July, 2015, "The Latest Cooper Troll Count" I pointed out that Cooper has DIRECTLY and of his own free will associated himself with no less than FOURTEEN troll accounts which Twitter have now suspended. There are other troll accounts still "out there" ready to attack. How many before WMP actually take action - 25, 50 or 100?
Once again, all this makes the words I have used true and, in all the circumstances, reasonable but it gets even worse.....
I have specifically asked WMP to read and consider my post "Cooper Exposed!" Regular readers will know that a third party set up a sting of Cooper and we then deliberately fed him some false and highly defamatory information about myself which he immediately passed on to trolls he was directly associating with (assuming he is not actually one of the troll network members himself). Cooper specifically admitted knowing the identity of one of the trolls and then ADMITTED passing grossly defamatory information to another @Gemmawool15. This led directly to more harassment and abuse and on one day alone the troll directed 44 (forty four) vile and abusive messages at my wife and myself with 12 being copied to my wife's employers! Not bad eh, WMP?
Now WMP are publicly admitting that if someone uses a false name to troll a person there is nothing they will do since they will NOT seek court orders against Twitter (this seems unbelievably weak and craven from a law enforcement agency and I would be interested to hear what other UK police forces are doing about this). But one police officer indicated to me privately that with the clear link we had exposed linking Cooper directly to the trolls there was clearly the potential for WMP to investigate him right here in the UK and examine his phone and computer records. Bearing in mind he has used his Council-owned (ie public property) iPhone for much of his dialogue with the trolls there may well also have been vital evidence on SMBC's servers. But, of course, WMP have protected their friend once again and any incriminating evidence has now, in all probability, long since been erased.
(Cooper himself has been deleting some of his back catalogue of abusive tweets although my blog archivist has screenshots of very many of them which I have - on tape- offered to make available to WMP. Clearly WMP are not likely to want to do anything that will upset their chum but I shall certainly wish to rely on them if THIS matter drags on any further).
Cooper has frequently harassed and abused me and, of course, the worst example was when he pursued his personal vendetta by putting a covertly-obtained photo of me on his Twitter account. What does that episode of stalking constitute then WMP?
I have also pointed out to WMP that Cooper regularly uses Twitter to attack and harass others and, of course, once had his own account suspended by Twitter for bullying a private individual. But in his eyes (and, seemingly, those of WMP) there is one rule for him and another for everyone else. Thus when a Sandwell resident (ie NOT a politician) complained about Cooper's absolutely relentless harassment the Council "leader" replied on 26th May, 2014,
"No I don't think it is bullying it's politics".
Take note, please WMP/CPS!
3. "Cxxxxx" - this is a word I used in a specific context (and which WMP appear to have taken out of context) where I pointed out that Cooper was very regularly LYING when he claims he writes his own blog for Sandwell Council when it is, in fact, written by their press office. Furthermore, he was passing off a daily Twitter newsfeed as his own when it is, in fact, prepared by local MP, John Spellar. Thus the expression in the context was entirely true,correct and reasonable to use. It is most certainly in the public interest that he is lying to and deliberately misleading them.
Once again, Cooper dare not bring a civil claim against me on any of these issues as he knows I have the evidence to back up my stories.
But even though I can prove that my statements about a local politician are FACTUALLY TRUE, WMP say I cannot make them again because our poor little shrinking violet alleges he is "alarmed and distressed" by them. Thus, according to WMP, freedom of speech under common law or via Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights is entirely redundant and politicians have carte blanche to silence their critics. It cannot possibly be right to use the criminal law in this way to try and silence a blog that has now had 260,000 views despite its esoteric subject matter.
Clearly if Cooper is allowed to get away with this all his present and future political opponents will have to exercise extreme caution as if he alleges he is feeling "alarm and distress" at any of their utterances they are likely to be spending some time with Old Bill. This is like North Korea!
This blog has been instrumental and active in exposing potentially criminal conduct at Sandwell Council and it is well known that there is an ongoing Regional Fraud Team enquiry into various matters. Some officers of WMP have taken the trolling etc as potential witness intimidation which is, of course, precisely what the perpetrators are intending it to be and that is a separate offence from harassment. Alas, their more senior officers are not prepared to allow myself and my wife any sort of protection. (I have also faced threats of extreme violence relating to my blog disclosures and WMP have, at least, given me contact with a specific high-ranking officer about that).
(For the record, and despite the fact that WMP are not exactly my favourite people at the moment, I have sent two separate pieces of information to the RFT this very week. DS Wayne Haynes and his team still welcome information on possible wrongdoing at Sandwell Council on 0121 251 2175).
Cooper (and WMP) is well aware that I am actively investigating certain aspects of his past behaviour which are, given some of his political pronouncements, in the public interest and he is very anxious that I should desist from so doing especially at a time when he is actively seeking to further his own political career. Once again, he cannot sue this blog through the civil courts when I am exposing the truth about him as he would lose and so he his getting his pals at WMP to try to spike my guns instead.
I am not aware that Cooper has personally been involved in any criminality. Potential crimes are currently being investigated at Sandwell Council and even if they cannot be proven on the criminal burden of proof of "beyond reasonable doubt" there is very compelling evidence that there has been gross negligence and considerable loss to the taxpayer during his "watch". Cooper continues to claim that there has been no wrongdoing whatsoever and yet is desperate to stop me from investigating issues involving the Council. Why?
He is also very anxious to publicly support those under suspicion (more anon).
Cooper knows that I have been investigating the circumstances of his home extension loan which, I can assure readers, IS a matter of public interest. He told a number of people that he borrowed the money - approaching £30,000 - from a private individual connected with Sandwell Council. WMP are, by the way, fully aware of this. Now if what he says is true then, again, I can assure readers that it most certainly IS of public interest. If it is not true, then the question arises as to why he was lying in the first place and, of course, the Police (and any Court dealing with this matter in due course) should be raising serious questions as to his truthfulness. But, again, Cooper is now using WMP to try to prevent me from investigating these legitimate matters further.
WMP are deciding what course of action to take in this matter but have warned me that if, in the meantime, I use the censored words shown above I MAY be arrested forthwith. They MAY attempt to confiscate all means of communication and they MAY seek to have this blog closed down. So much for Freedom of Speech and I am now going to have to seek proper legal advice. Having said that, Dear Readers, I have stated unequivocally on police tape under caution that this blog will not be silenced without one hell of a fight!
[Anyone qualified who can give me some advice on this threatened form of police censorship will receive my eternal gratitude].
I have confirmed that I will cooperate fully with WMP if they feel it is really in the public interest to take further action.
For the record, WMP have treated me well, personally, to date despite leaving the sword of Damocles hovering above my head and even they were concerned that costs to the public purse will easily get out of hand if wiser counsel does not prevail here. They were genuinely concerned about the effect a criminal conviction (should it ever happen) would have on the voluntary work I do (although - thanks to Darren Cooper - Jan Britton's Sandwell Council have already formally contacted a charity I do voluntary work for suggesting that I am unfit to be a volunteer with them because of this blog! Not that they are harassing me of course WMP....).
JE SUIS SKIDDER!
JE SUIS SKIDDER!
THE SANDWELL SKIDDER - A COMMUNITY BLOG - READ THE SKIDDER, KIDDER!
email: email@example.com twitter: @bcrover (Vernon Grant)
Confidential phone no: 07599 983737
* The lies of Darren Cooper himself (a non-exclusive list):
1 All the staff at The Public would get jobs at SMBC (via BBC);
2 Cooper has permitted lies concerning the bent Public deal to remain on the official SMBC record;
3 Cooper has told a story about the bent ice rink deal contrary to the official SMBC record;
4 There are very serious issues surrounding the Fairy Dust affair;
5 Cooper told me to my face that £30k of the statue money was held by SMBC which was a lie;
6 Failed to correct Facebook entries to pretend he was still working for the NHS;
7 Lied that he had not used Sandwell council facilities to get his suspended Twitter a/c reinstated;
8 Lied that Sandwell had allocated all LWP payments (my blog 28/11/14);
9 Lied about CTB legal disaster costs being £40k when they were more than double that;
10 Lied about reduction in councillors' allowances - my blog 03/11/14.
More to come......