REDUX: Beneath the Molehill: Dennis Rice, Guido Fawkes, the new Press Regulator IPSO

UPDATE:  Old Animus Revisited

SUMMARY OF UPDATE: having admitted to being the source of the abortive Guido Fawkes/Daily Mail story about my mortgage in 2014, and the recent fact free hit jobs on Byline in April this year, Dennis Rice reports me to the police. 

Well over a year since this blog was published, and nearly two years since I last corresponded with him in any fashion, Dennis Rice has seen fit to reactivate this issue after Byline broke various stories about the Conservative Culture Secretary John Whittingdale, which was followed by some corrigible hit jobs in the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Guido Fawkes gossip website, directed against myself and the site in April 2016.

I have not replied to the delectable Mr Rice – nor do I intend to. But I will post each successive communication as it comes in

(You can ignore most this email which is contradicted by the information  below. The key fact is Rice admits to being the source for Sunday Telegraph article.)

Dear Mr Jukes,
I do hope you haven’t been injured in the self irony overload from your whining about the Sunday Telegraph not asking you to comment prior to publication.
I had the same experience when you made up a story about how I was part of  a Fleet Street Conspiracy of two (I had last worked on Fleet St eight in 2008 and the other person you named was Louise Mensch, an author and then MP who has at that point never written for Fleet Street)
In order to do this you moved a tweet I had posted in January 2014 – in response to your attacking my family’s hacking and privacy – forward four months to pretend it had been made in response to a book which I had zero interest in, and everyone I knew had zero interest in (a situation which continues to this day).
When this became clear to the UK Press Gazette they pulled the excerpt and unsurprisingly IPSO found in my favour.
Even then you weren’t man enough to accept it – first  you blogged your nonsense again claiming “censorship” (no its called correcting a complete inaccuracy); then inventing yet another conspiracy (yawn), namely that because Peter Wright was a member of IPSO, and had employed me six years earlier, he must have influenced the decision.
What likely influenced IPSO was your ludicrous claim that you couldn’t check the original tweet – when it was on open display for a month at the time of your writing the book – then that you didn’t want to give me a Right of Reply for fear of the police being contacted. This demonstrated once again your complete lack of the most basic and rudimentary journalist training and skills.
And I recall telling you at the time that the IPSO judgement would he there forever – and quite rightly so.
Thus when newspapers are investigating Byline and it’s obvious links to Hacked Off (our differences in fact commenced with yout joining an attack in me by a Hacked Off director – an organisation you have never once criticised) you shouldn’t be surprised that they end up contacting me.
That isn’t a conspiracy but rather a direct consequence of your own actions isn’t it?
Now go back to your mundane and frankly boring existence imagining conspiracies and re tweeting yourself.
Meantime rest assured that if anyone contacts me about you I will (a) provide any and all information I have on your rank hypocrisy and distortions; and (b) do it for free.
Dennis Rice

Having published that – this came in a few hours later


And now come the threats of police action which I also publish


Note I have done nothing but republish Mr Rice’s emails to me. But he continues….


I did not publish the following email a few hours later however because Rice seemed to be backing down


I have published it now because the next morning it emerged…


UPDATE 17/05/16: Rice clearly did contact the police but then backed down. A PC from Thames Valley writes:

Since his initial complaint, Mr Rice has failed to return my emails or provide me any evidence of an offence. As a result, his complaint has filed with no further action.
Kind regards,
Team 5
High Wycombe Police Station
Oddly enough, just as Mr Rice was collecting his erroneous information on Byline, I was sent a spear phishing email with malware via the Society of Editors server.


In sum, I consider these investigatory, legal and now criminal allegations to constitute a clear case of harassment over prolonged period of time.


Despite popular demand to publish  it gives me no pleasure to rehearse this sorry and rather sordid tale of tabloid trolling that arose in the background of my hacking trial coverage. I devoted a few paragraphs about this in my book, not because it had any huge public interest, but because it was indicative of the kind of abuses certain members of the British press routinely resort to.

However, two of those responsible for running interference throughout my coverage of the trial, Paul Staines of the Guido Fawkes blog, and Dennis Rice, former journo with the Mail on Sunday and News of the World,  have decided to turn the molehill of a minor and ‘not egregious’ press correction into a full post on the Guido Fawkes blog. Richard Bartholomew has already dissected most of the misrepresentations in a blog I’ve cross posted here. But there are additional details about Dennis Rice, Guido Fawkes and IPSO which are of public interest.

The whole saga is a small but instructive example of the way the so called avatars of the ‘free press’ are willing to use any means at their disposal – investigatory, regulatory, and threats of civil and criminal legal action – to attempt to silence those who expose their abuses.

For the last reason more than anything I’m prepared to wade through the sticky stuff again.

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How the Kindness of Strangers crowd funded my Hacking Trial coverage

Now that my second crowd funding campaign has ended successfully, I’m fulfilling a promise to share the data from Indiegogo, and publicise (without naming individual contributors) the source of funding from across the world, the most effective social networking platforms and sharing tools. I’m not doing this to sound my own trumpet but because I know there are many people interested in how to raise money for journalism.

Mine was a very specific campaign, with a clear deadline set by the phone hacking trial, and a clear service to be delivered – live tweeting from the court. I suspect it might be harder to fund something less immediately topical and time dependent. On the other hand, most people paid for a service which was not exclusive, and others would be getting for free.

So follow me below the fold for the data.

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Correspondents Report – Reporting from the frontlines of the phone hacking scandal 02/02/2014

dolemanAn interview with yours truly revealing the secrets of the annex – though I should have explained to Barbara that, these less busy days, most of us are allowed up in the main court, but for various acoustic, visual and social reasons, don’t exercise that choice.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: It\’s been a dramatic week at the phone hacking trial in London, beginning with an appearance by actor Jude Law, and ending on Friday with the testimony via video link of his former partner, Sienna Miller.

In between the two stars, a man whose name wasn’t well known until now, Dan Evans, took the stand.

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The Trial Ahead: plus Industrial Espionage and Personal Violation

IMG_1099The first week back at the Hacking Trial in 2014 has been focused on allegations of cover-up, and specifically focused on Count 6 of the charges – that Rebekah Brooks and her PA Cheryl Carter conspired to pervert the course of justice by removing seven boxes of Brooks’ notebooks from archives on the day that Andy Coulson was arrested and the closure of the News of the World was announced.

Carter’s defence in a police interview was that she removed her own notebooks during an planned boot camp holiday for Brooks. We have heard evidence from the head of News International archives, Nick Mays, and Carter’s fellow PA Deborah Reagan.

All the defendants deny all the charges.

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Survey Results and my use of ‘BREAKING’ on tweets

First off – Happy New Year. The reopening of the hacking trial today brought with it some (I thought) quite interesting revelations, but obviously I try to tweet every argument and point without prejudice, and don’t make an editorial judgement of interesting/boring etc. However, one decision I occasionally take is to call a tweet BREAKING. Continue reading