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McCanns v Bennett: 153 alleged breaches reduced to 25

Word from Tony Bennett, retrieved from The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann (18/02/12), an interesting read I think you will agree
A process server arrived this morning with the latest parcel from Carter-Ruck, this time containing another 400-odd pages and setting out the 25 ‘most serious’ alleged breaches of my undertakings (instead of the 153 I received on 1 December, along with five bundles and 2,000 pages). The new list of ’25 serious breaches’ is below.
The new committal bundle should have been served on me yesterday, but as I was out all day with my brother and his wife looking for care homes for our mother, I can’t blame them for being a day late.
I didn’t get a limousine with two people bringing me the parcel this time, just one bloke with an Audi.
Maybe there is a tariff for this sort of thing:
5 bundles – limousine and 2 blokes needed
1 large bundle – bloke with Merc or Audi needed
1 small bundle or letter – bloke with Ford Fiesta.
He was a nice bloke – recognised me from being on TV over the Michael Barrymore-death of Stuart Lubbock case. I ended up giving him a copy of my book to read, he said he’d bring it back to me.
We got talking about elderly relatives. He had had to place his father in a care home. He had carefully chosen the BUPA care home in Chelmsford. Sadly, three weeks and one day later, his father was dead. He had fallen out of bed in the middle of the night because there was no guard on the side of the bed. ‘We probably could have sued them’, he sighed, clearly still sad that so soon after placing him in what he thought was the best care home in the area, he was no more.
Mike Gunnill
My raising the subject before Mr Justice Tugendhat of Mike Gunnill’s actions in deliberately entrapping me into selling one book has prompted a swift reaction from Carter-Ruck and Mike Gunnill (still a member of this forum I believe). For on Wednesday 15 February he attended his local solcitors, Beckett Solictors in Rainham, Kent, to swear an Affidavit setting out the circumstances in which he first lied about being Michael Sangerete, and then lied again about neeeding a copy of ’60 Reasons’ for the purposes of ‘historical interest’.
The Affidavit itself is 7 pages long and consists of 26 paragraphs, but as either Carter-Ruck or Gunnill hmself or his solicitors advised him to include a photocopy of the whole of ’60 Reasons’ and photocopies of e-mail message and posts from this very forum, his Affidavit plus Exhibits ran to a hefty 61 pages.
In paragraphs 12-17 of his Affidavit, Gunnill explains why he schemed to try to get a booklet from me. Here is his account, in his own words – verbatim:
“Hav[ing] previously covered the story, I thought that the Sunday Express might be interested in reporting on it further, if it…turned out that the Defendant wasn’t complying with his undertakings. I should mention that while I am a photo journalist, I also write articles occasionally and/or pitch ideas for articles to newspapers. If a newspaper decides to publish an article which I’ve suggested, I will be paid a commission both for the original idea and if any photographs of mine are used to illustrate it.
“I spoke to my contacts at the Sunday Express, who confirmed that they would consider publishing another articles if I could obtain a copy of the ’60 Reasons’ boklet from the Defendant in order to prove that he was breaching the undertaking.
“I therefore emailed the Defendant in January 2010, using the pseudonym ‘Michael Sangerte’, requesting a copy of the ’60 Reasons’ booklet. Given the use of my photograph in the original Sunday Express article…I thought it extremely unlikely that the Defendant would agree to sell me the ’60 Reasons’ booklet if I wrote in my own name, hence my use of a pseudonym.
“As can be seen, the Defendant was initialily reluctant to sell me the ’60 Reasons’ boolket because of the undertaking he had given…However, when I pressed the Defendant further, he confirmed he had been able to locate a copy…
“I inforned by my contact at the Sunday Express that I had been able to obatin a copy of the ’60 Reasons’ booklet from the Defendant. My contact told me the newspaper wished to consdier a possible article at their 11am editorial conference, so they sent a courier round to my house to collect [the] package which I had received from the Defendant, together with my summary for a proposed article, first thing in the moning. I was curious to see if I could get the Defendant to admit publicly that he had been breaching his undetakings…”
So, to put it in a nutshell, this member of our forum, Mike Gunnill, tried to get me to break a High Court undertaking, and potentially get me into serious trouble, just in order to make a grubby few tenners. Or so he says.
Well, he will have to be produced as a witness now at the trial – and I shall have more than a few questions for him in cross-examiantion.
The documents I received were also remarkable for a 19-page Affidavit from Carter-Ruck Partner Isabel Hudson, who in 100-plus paragraphs, sub-paragraphs and sub-sub-paragraphs, attempted to prove that I had either authored each publication i nquestion, or at least consented to its publication on our website. This was a wholly unnecessary exercise, as in correspondence with Carter-Ruck I have always conceded authorship of all the postings and articles they have referred to, or at least in some cases to jointly consenting with Madeleine Foundation Committee members to publish them. My claim has always been simply that the right to circulate facts, freedom of speech, and the right to make fair comment if you have an ‘honest belief’ in the truth of what you are saying have justified all the statements I have made about the reported disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
What a waste of time and effort!
Here are the 25 ‘most serious’ alleged breaches of my undertakings, but before that:
* Many thanks to all who have helped me so far in preparing my draft Affidavit of defence
* Mnay thanks to all of you who have registered your support for me, either here or by e-mail, ‘phone or text
* And a special thanks to a lady called ‘Mourena’, of whom I have never heard before, but who sent me a very nice ‘good luck’ card and message – thank you Mourena, whererever you are.
Here’s the revised list by which the McCanns hope I will be sent to prison or fined:
The 25 alleged beaches of undertaking that may send me to prison
The 25 alleged breaches of undertaking now pleaded in support of the application to commit me to prison may be summarised as follows. The breaches are numbered 1 to 25 as listed in Exhibit ‘IJH6’ at pages 1 to 10 of the new bundle, with the previous number for each given on brackets afterwards:
No. 1 (previously 1) Allegedly breaching an undertaking not to sell my book ‘60 Reasons’ by ‘selling’ a book to one Michael Sangerte. I told ‘Michale Sangerte’ that the book was no longer for sale. When Michael Sangerte said he required it because he claimed it would one day ‘be an important historical document’ for which he was ‘prepared to pay a high price’, I agreed to find a copy for him, and sent it to him in exchange for its normal previous price, £5 including postage. The buyer turned out to be Michael Gunnill of Upchurch, Kent, who had deliberately deceived me into selling a copy which otherwise I had absolutely no intention of doing.
No. 2 (previously No. 2) Publishing and selling the book ‘The Madeleine McCann Case Files: Volume 1’. It is claimed by the McCanns that this is libellous. The book is simply a compilation of 12 witness statements, police or expert reports, either in full or extracts from them, which were made public by the Portuguese Police 3½ years ago, in late 2008. So far as I am aware, the McCanns have not sued for libel either the Portuguese Police for publishing these documents, nor the authors of any of them, e.g. Dr Arul Gaspar, Dr Katarina Gaspar, Martin Grime and Inspector Tavares de Almedia. These various statements and reports have been published on numerous places on the internet and probably read by hundreds of thousands of people. So far as I am aware, the McCanns have not sued any of the website, forum or blog owners who have been carrying this material for the past 3½ years. I do not understand therefore the basis on which it is claimed that the contents of our book are libellous, if the McCanns have not sued any of the various authors and publishers of the material over the past 3½ years. IMPORTANT NOTE: Despite our publishing this book in January 2010, it was not until 1 December 2011 (when a limousine brought me the committal papers) that the McCanns first stated that they had any objection to this publication
No. 3 (previously No. 3) Sending to our members, supporters and contacts an email refuting the claims of the BBC that Goncalo Amaral had used the expression ‘F___ the McCanns’ outside the Lisbon Court in January 2010. The McCanns say that parts of this email libelled them.
Nos. 4 to 9 concern material published on The Madeleine Foundation website, as follows [IMPORTANT NOTE: Within 24 hours of our being notified by the McCanns of their objection to these six articles and five more on our website to which the McCanns objected, we removed them from our website].
No. 4 (previously No. 15) Publishing a copy of our letter to Home Secretary Theresa May on 4 July 2010 about the possibility of a ‘Review’ into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The McCanns say a part of that letter libelled them.
No. 5 (previously No. 18) Publishing an item ‘News from The Madeleine Foundation’ on 24 September 2010 which Mrs McCanns say included a libel of them. I am not at liberty to say what the contents of this letter were.
No. 6 (previously No. 27) Re-publishing in February 2011 in full an article by Barbara Nottage on the events of the evening of 3 May 2007 which we had previously substantially cut – a year earlier – at the request of the McCanns. The reason we reinstated the article in full was because a few weeks earlier the McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell had admitted that the abduction of Madeleine was not a fact but only an ‘assumption’ or ‘working hypothesis’.
No. 7 (previously No. 32) Publishing a copy of our letter to Prime Minister David Cameron sent on 18 May 2011 about the remit of the ‘Review’ ordered by David Cameron into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The McCanns say parts of that letter libelled them. I am not at liberty to say what the contents of this letter were.
No. 8 (previously No. 34) Publishing a letter I sent to Carter-Ruck on 8 June 2011.
No. 9 (previously No. 36) Publishing a copy of our letter to Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, Head of the Scotland Yard Review Team, sent on 11 July 2011 about the remit of the ‘Review’ ordered by David Cameron into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The McCanns say parts of that letter libelled them. I am not at liberty to say what the contents of this letter were.
Nos. 10 to 23 inclusive concern 14 postings on the forum ‘Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann’. [IMPORTANT NOTE: Within 24 hours of our being notified by the McCanns of their objection to these 14 and around 26 other postings of mine on this forum to which the McCanns objected, I arranged their removal from that forum, except for the last three which were removed on being notified about them on 1 December 2011].
These are the dates of these postings:
No. 10 (previously No. 44) – 4 July 2010 (four messages)
No. 11 (previously No. 46) – 13 July 2010 (two messages giving a link to a YouTube video I made reading out the 48 questions that Dr Kate McCann refused to answer when she was pulled in for questioning on 7 September 2007). That video is considered by the McCanns to libel them, although that list of 48 questions can be read all over the internet including today on the BBC website
No. 12 (previously No. 48) – 24 July 2010 (two messages)
No. 13 (previously No. 51) – 2 January 2011
No. 14 (previously No. 64) – 16 April 2011, which refers to the ‘50 FACTS’ leaflet published by the Madeleine McCann Research Group, a document that the McCanns say libelled them
No. 15 (previously No. 72) – 2 May 2011 (two messages)
No. 16 (previously No. 79) – 14 May 2011
No. 17 (previously No. 87) – 22 June 2011 (two messages)
No. 18 (previously No. 90) – 7 July 2011
No. 19 (previously No. 97) – 20 July 2011
No. 20 (previously No. 108) – 3 August 2011
No. 21 (previously No. 109 – 18 August 2011
No. 22 (previously No. 118) – 7 September 2011
No. 23 (previously No. 130) – 1 November 2011
No. 24 (previously No. 140) A tweet on Twitter dated 7 July 2011 which referred to the report of Inspector Tavares de Almedia [NOTE: See also No. 2 above].
No. 25 (previously No. 147) Distributing the leaflet ‘50 FACTS’ in Cheshire, Lancashire and Flinshire.

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