On 26th July 2014, the following review was posted on a well known audiobook download site by someone simply calling himself “Paul from Ontario, Canada”…
But was this a genuine review?
Let me be very clear…. I’m not for one moment suggesting that this was a sneaky, insidious, underhand attempt by powerful lawyers, working stealthily behind the scenes for the insurance industry, to cunningly derail Leslie Phillips new audiobook… but just try Googling “Paul from Ontario, Canada, Lawyer Profiles“ and see what comes up. Interestingly, “Paul” appears to be a barrister and partner in a large, rather powerful Canadian law firm acting for major insurance corporations!
Was there an ulterior motive in placing this review? Perhaps he just likes listening to legal thrillers (or not in this case), anyway, you decide…
Paul’s review, mistakenly citing a “Mr. Barrett” as the author of Chequered Justice, begins:
“Not even a brilliant narrator can save this”
“Paul from Ontario, Canada” says:
“No one familiar with the law could possibly get over the many legal errors. A trial judge who participated in pre trial hearings, who questions the accused’s right to legal aid was bad but when he issues an injunction banning the airing of a TV show without being asked, without notice to the broadcaster I could take no more. I trust Mr. Barrett never went on the race track without having his car checked by a mechanic. Why would he write a book about the law without having a lawyer check it for flaws.”
Listen to the Chapter that so outraged Paul from Ontario, Canada:
Answers to Paul’s comments:
- “Paul from Ontario, Canada comments”: “Why would he write a book about the law without having a lawyer check it for flaws.”
- A: Chequered Justice was initially reviewed by one of the UK’s top barristers, Michael Mansfield QC, prior to it’s release. Michael Mansfield was fully acquainted with the real case as it was he that had attempted to get it back before the Court of Appeal in 1997…
…Chequered Justice has, since then, been positively reviewed by many other legal professionals (Review below is from a French Barrister):
- “Paul from Ontario, Canada comments”: “A trial judge who participated in pre trial hearings, who questions the accused’s right to legal aid was bad…”
- A: Yes, it was bad, but in my real case it actually happened, preventing us from mounting an appropriate defence. Below is the actual letter suspending my legal costs policy, leading to the judge questioning my right to Legal Aid:
- “Paul from Ontario, Canada comments”: “…an injunction banning the airing of a TV show without being asked, without notice to the broadcaster I could take no more.”
- A: Yes, that also was bad, but again it actually happened in my case. In reality, the real TV programme was ITV’s Dispatches, entitled: “Adding Insult to Injury” (listen to the episode below). The episode was due to have been screened by Channel 4 in September 1994, until blocked by my trial judge who issued an injunction preventing it’s broadcast until after my trial.
On 22nd August 2014 I made a Freedom of Information Request to release a copy of the injunction that “Paul” suggests couldn’t have been issued. On 26th August I received this rather spooky “who are you?” reply:
On the same day I replied, explaining who I was and pointing out that (according to the Crown Court Retention Schedule) the documentation is supposed to remain on file for 20 years:
The following day I received this final curt communication, saying “the injunction/contempt order had been destroyed”. Whilst this email serves to prove the injunction WAS issued, it’s interesting to note the reference to a “contempt order” … especially as I never mention the word “contempt” in my emails! One might wonder where that came from if all the documentation was destroyed. Listen carefully to the offending fictitious Chapter 13 above… it may lead one to the conclusion there was only one person who judged the matter to be contemptuous! I’ll leave it to your own conclusions as to why the documentation was so suddenly destroyed, 3 weeks before it’s destruction deadline.
ITV Channel 4 couldn’t find a full playable tape of the banned Dispatches episode as after almost 20 years the picture quality had badly deteriorated…. however it’s audio track survived! Now, thanks to the work of the sound engineer, Graham Waller, it’s been polished up and can be listened to below. This was the original sound track of the banned episode, intended for broadcast in September 1994, as depicted in the fictitious Chequered Justice – Chapter 13.
I’m sure Paul’s review won’t exactly help distribution, however his unwitting “proof reading” of the legal proceedings simply adds credence to the injustice I and so many others have had to endure. Paul appears to confuse the “manipulation” depicted in Chequered Justice with what he perceives to be flaws or textual errors… in effect saying it couldn’t happen in real life. He’s also managed to completely miss the subtle hints in the audiobooks sound track (e.g. at 4.23), signalling when a spot of “judicial tinkering” is taking place (have a listen to the offending chapter above)!
Let me repeat what I have said before in my Authors Note (which I suspect Paul skipped)…Please also see my blog and my Questions & Answers page: Note that whilst Chequered Justice had to be published as a fiction for legal reasons, everything that happened to “Will Middleton” happened to me… EVERYTHING! This obviously includes the injunction banning the TV show and the way it was issued, “without being asked and without notice to the broadcaster” as depicted in Chapter 13 of Chequered Justice, as well as all the issues concerning my right to legal aid – See documents above in support of the truth.
Just one question for you, “Paul from Ontario, Canada”…
Shouldn’t a lawyer first listened to all the evidence before reaching a conclusion?
On 30th Aug I sent Paul the polite email below:
To date Paul has declined to reply!
My family lived through the hellish reality behind Chequered Justice…. I recently found the quote below scribbled on the back of my sons door. He’s now 27 but was just 7 years of age when we were raided “in error” by the Metropolitan Police…
As a lawyer representing the multi-million pound industry that so decimated our lives, you might like to reflect…