There are very few people in my life who I would use the “C” word to describe.
You are one of them.
After having won two court cases against you, our dealings are a matter of public record.
We met in late 2009 when I was appointed by the state appointed liquidators, to sell your property under the Bankruptcy Act.
The Liquidators in good faith; had allowed you to remain in the property pending the Auction planned for early December 2009. This meant I had to deal with you regarding inspections of the property etc.
I was still absorbing the news from the Professor when you and I first met. I may not have had been in the best frame of mind, but I decided to give you the benefit of the doubt despite warnings from Steve and other people, who had dealt with you.
I felt sorry for you in your situation and when you suggested, my website needed an overhaul I appointed you to do the job.
It made good sense at the time, I was trying to rebuild the business after the hiatus of the past 18 months, and the website was tired.
We met often in the lead up to the Auction and discussed the plans for the website. You came to me with a layout which I liked, except for the front page which had me walking on water across the Harbor.
“Derek, I like the format but there is no way in hell that front page is going to be there”
I initially thought this was your idea of a joke and I wasn’t that perturbed.
The Auction went well despite many headwinds, not the least of which was the general presentation of the property, I saw you after the Auction and you congratulated me on the job we had done.
In January 2010, we met several times to discuss the progress of the website, there had not been any real progress and the offensive front page remained. On each occasion, I was emphatic this page had to go.
You laughed at my concerns and urged me to concentrate on the content. We had done a video in December and I was starting to be bit concerned. You had kept the camera rolling as we spoke and joked. There were things on that video that had no place in the purpose of the exercise and you were constantly refusing to show me the video.
This, combined with your resistance to my complaints about the front page of the site and the lack of progress beyond an initial layout, was causing me grave doubts about the whole exercise.
The end came very late in January 2010; you called to arrange a meeting for me to see the final draft of the site. The caricature of me walking on water was still there, you refused to give me the video and the website itself, had still not progressed.
I stormed out of this meeting, telling you I was cancelling any agreement we had. I had paid a deposit, which I accepted I would never see again, but I made it very clear I would not be paying any more.
For the next few months I was bombarded with threatening SMS and email messages, threats of court action for the remaining money and regularly, I would be confronted with your business cards on my car after open Houses, you were obviously looking at where I would be and doing this, simply to let me know you were watching.
The next phase of your campaign was the Google attacks, at one stage there were over 180 entries on Google, attacking me in one form or the other.
I was bankrupt, I was gay, I molested young boys, I owed money to the Taxation office, I was corrupt. The video was cut and spliced portraying me in a very bad light. At one stage; I along, with the husband of one of your other targets were accused of being the towel boys at one of Sydney’s prominent gay saunas.
I really did feel sorry for Maureen’s husband, a doctored photo of him and I dressed only in towels was splashed across You Tube, it did not do justice to either of us.
What this did to my business is incalculable, what it did to my state of mind, which was already fragile; was shocking. I dreaded opening the computer every morning to find another batch of tirades.
I would sometimes meet with many of your other targets and a pattern became very clear. You would ingratiate yourself, you would promise and not deliver, then you would start your campaign of hate and harassment for money that had not been earned.
One Solicitor, who had dared to take you on was pursued, even though she was in the late stages of cancer, a tourism business was constantly being forced to explain themselves to their Government clients, a prominent businessman had taken you to court for defamation and won an order for damages, another website designer was forced out of business because he had done work for you and had the temerity to ask for payment.
I decided to take you on, I filed a defence to your civil claim for payment and I applied for an Apprehended Violence Order against you, on the advice of my solicitor
These court proceedings dragged on interminably, you would deny you were responsible for the Google entries, even though we could link the various accounts back to you. The Police whilst sympathetic, did not have resources to follow up on things.
I do thank Sergeant Nick Bonken of Kings Cross Police for his support, he understood the effect this was having on me and was always supportive.
There were many doctored articles still appearing on Google and You Tube even as, this case was before the courts. One had part of my video attached to a court transcript detailing illegal property dealing. The names had been altered and I was named and shamed for something I was not even aware of, as well as being linked to a group I had never belonged to.
I owe Ngaire a lot for her help in this fight, as a Barrister, she helped prepare my many submissions to both the criminal and Civil Court. She also was drawn into your web of smutty emails and innuendo.
Finally, in September 2010 the Civil case went before the Registrar of Downing Centre Court and I, as the defendant, was completely exonerated.
The registrar in his ruling, described your behaviour as “completely unacceptable”
You had argued all through the various hearings on the AVO that you would desist once the Civil Matter had been heard. I used to marvel at why the Court did not challenge the hypocrisy of this claim.
On the one hand, you were denying you were responsible for the flood of Google and You Tube entries, and on the other, you were saying they would all magically disappear once I paid you.
On 17 November, the final Apprehended Violence Order was handed down by the Court, this Order prohibited you from publishing any article, comment or video on You Tube or any other website. The Order was for a period of three years, no one had even suggested this length of time was possible, I was overjoyed
Miraculously, most posts disappeared overnight, but over the next twelve months there would be several breaches of the Order, my fear of opening the computer remained alive for much longer that it should have.
I was delighted Maureen and several others followed me down this path and they achieved similar orders. Unfortunately, the Solicitor had died in the meantime, I have no doubt you contributed in no small way to her death. Your attacks had been vile, even to the extent of celebrating her passing with a particularly vicious, last swipe.
I never knew this woman but I felt her pain and that of her family I had lived with the experience of having lies and innuendo published and having to explain this to my own children.
I have often wondered what motivated you to take this path, I have often marveled at the simple maths of the situation.
For all the time and energy, you spent pursuing me, you could have built a dozen websites, I would certainly have been happy to pay you for mine.
Was it narcissism? was it a genuine feeling we had all wronged you? I will never know.
You made my life hell for 12 months and perhaps; that is all the reason you need.
How much this episode contributed to my rapid downfall between 2009 and 2012, I will never know. I do know, that by early 2013, my condition had started to plateau and I have been relatively stable ever since.
I understand, that if you were ever to read this letter you would giggle and get joy from having inflicted this pain.
We still see you around occasionally, you look sick and alone, I am not surprised. A man consumed by bitterness and rancor has only this to look forward to.
I struggle with my feelings for you, I should despise the very ground you walk on, but; the dominant feelings are of sorrow and pity.
That would really give you the shits!