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Free Speech Dies As Blogger Gets Restraining Order For Remarks Made On Twitter

Free Speech Dies As Blogger Gets Restraining Order For Remarks Made On Twitter

It appears that free speech died today. Well, in Bexley anyway … as blogger and tweeter Olly Cromwell, who was found guilty of calling a councillor the C word on twitter, was sentenced at a court hearing in Bromley today. The judge handed out a 12 month community service order AND a 5 year restraining order against Olly Cromwell following a twitter trial in April where he was found guilty, under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003, of making a grossly offensive and menacing comment towards a Bexleyheath councillor.

Olly cromwell twitter trial  blogger John Graham Kerlen councillor bexleyheath restarining order

The five year restraining order means that Olly Cromwell is prohibited from any contact with any Bexleyheath councillor, either physically or via social media networks. No blogging. No tweeting. No Facebooking. And, presumably, he’s not allowed to attend any public Bexley Council meetings either.

For 5 years.

Now, call me old fashioned, if you like, but that’s a gagging order isn’t it? For calling a councillor a c*nt on Twitter? And the councillor in question didn’t even see the tweet? Eh? So that’s that then. Precedent set.

More from me later.

Possibly.

+++ UPDATE +++

Here’s an idea from Unnamed Insider, via Twitter, which could make things a tad interesting at the next Bexley Council meeting :

Unnamed Insider Olly Cromwell Bexley Council meeting twitter trial councillor c word restraining order

Incidentally, I see that Bexley Council have a meeting to elect a new Mayor next Wednesday, 16th May at the Civic Offices, 7.30pm sharp. Just saying ;-)

.

+++ UPDATE : 17:25 hrs +++

I believe that an appeal against the sentence has now been lodged and you can read the official press release from Olly Cromwell’s solicitors, Aletta Shaw, HERE.

Hat tip to @SpideyAndLilah for the tweets from the court room
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108 comments

  1. Max – @Unnamedinsider is trying to organise mass attendance at Bexley council’s next public meeting in support of Olly. Any chance you could add that to the blog entry?

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  2. I suppose it could have been worse. Internal exile after the gulag. Remind me who won the cold war?

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    • Punished for publicly criticising an ‘elected’ official … yep, welcome to the UKSSR.

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  3. What a heavy handed disproproportionate and crass response

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  4. Councillor Underestimates Next Twitter Shitstorm

    (h/t to Dragon)

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    • Anyway, speaking of cunts (and therefore only slightly O/T) I see that Qatada has lost his appeal and should be shovelled onto a plane for Jordan PDQ.

      A small ray of sunshine in an otherwise grey day ;)

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    • Courts Understandably Not Treating Squarely

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  5. Johnson mathey

    what is it with people on here deliberately ignoring the facts of this case? This man tried to intimidate another man who happend to live opposite him and also happend to be a councillor.You cant stick a photo up of someones house and ask anyone to “post actual shit” pure and simple.What is actual shit is that some complete idiots have hijacked this case as if it has something to do with an attack on free speech?????

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    • “tried to intimidate”?

      - He never posted the name of the person
      - He never posted the address
      - The person in question wasn’t even on twitter

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      • I think he said he was going to post the address later so we dont know if he would have as he was stopped soon after.Also it doesnt matter if the councillor saw it or not its still an offence to put it out there as someone who did read it may have acted on it once the address was put on it.The fact it was a councillors home,which was put on the tweet, is the same as or as good as naming him as you might have put, say a socialist agitator,nazi,or mp its targeting the mans home.

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        • He wouldn’t need to post the address. Given the name and a look at the electoral register in a local library will reveal all.

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      • Whatever this OC fellow may or may not have done, there’s one clear lesson to be drawn from this and that is “carry on regardless.” Fuck the courts’ attempt to muzzle free speech. Don’t allow yourself to be intimidated by these miserable, humourless shits. It’s just what they’d love. Ignore them and treat them with the contempt they deserve. Don’t let these fascist scumbags prevail. Carry on cunting everybody! :-D

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  6. According to a number of reports Olly pleaded guilty? ls this correct?

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  7. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-17993003

    In other news, some innocent Muslims have been fitted up by a joint sting operation involving Plod, the BNP and some honey-trap Feminazis….

    I want my DNA samples back NOW !!!!

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    • Jonny Jugjammer

      Indeed, thank goodness the 59 year old ringleader who was fitted up and sentenced to 19 years prison – ‘who cannot be named for legal reasons’ will remain anonymous.

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  8. The shame of this is that most people won’t look beyond the c-word and the headline. They’ll probably miss completely the fact that it’s really about a cover-up of corruption in Bexley Council.

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  9. A few other facts that should also be mentioned:

    Not once have Bexley Council attempted to refute any of the contentions made by Sir Olly. The allegations of corruption, ignoring obvious conflicts of interest and more remain unanswered.

    The trial was moved from Bromley to Bexley at the last moment even though it was acknowledged that there was a conflict of interests if the trial were held in Bexley.

    Bexley Council have pursued a politically motivated prosecution with the sole intent of silencing a critic rather than proving him wrong. To my mind that is unethical and an admission that Sir Olly and the Bexley Is Bonkers blog are both right in what they say.

    The judge in this case has made a flawed conclusion based on ignorance of social media and has set an illiberal and dangerous precedent.

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    • Utter nonsense!

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    • That really stinks – the JP was probably nominated to the ministry of “justice” by Bexley councillors. So now he does them favours…

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  10. George Silver

    Manipulation of sentiment abounds from all sides.
    I think I’ll sit this one out quietly.
    I’ve no idea about the true facts and there seems to be too many axes on the grinding wheel.

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  11. Cromwell Undergoes Nuremberg Treatment. Stasi?

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  12. Cromwell Uncovers Nervous Traitors. Scared?

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  13. What a storm in a teacup this was.Everyone banging on about loss of free speech when all it was was a stupid angry little man who went too far with his vile tweets and was stopped.Nothing more

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  14. Hi Max

    As promised here is my write up from the sentencing hearing held at Bromley Magistrates Court.

    http://spiderplantland.co.uk/how-one-bexley-councillor-killed-free-speech/

    Cheers
    Spidey

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