INTRODUCTION: THE PURPOSE OF THE ‘RAP SHEET’
The purpose of this post is to show the list of transgressions and numerous ways in which the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) have demonstrated a clear lack of competence and have failed in their responsibility to advocate on behalf of the public against immoral an unethical solicitors.
Tragically, in late 2023 and much to my regret, I was left with no choice but to report my half-sister, Tania Francis, a solicitor at Hempsons LLP, to the SRA. This came after several years of harassment and attempts to coercively control me and my life decisions where her actions toward me were not just seriously damaging, whilst I was in a vulnerable place and recovering from a chronic health condition, but were deeply immoral and unethical for a solicitor.
My report to the SRA on this involved a description and evidence of:
- Tania Francis’s personal involvement in a smear campaign against me and my business with the intention of coercively controlling me and my life choices and trying to destroy my business as a way of achieving that control.
- Her personal harassment of me and my subsequent reporting of her to the police.
- Her providing false and misleading statements to a court of law in order to deliberately damage the reputation of me and my business.
The SRA are a body responsible for regulating the conduct of solicitors who are behaving immorally or unethically, both inside and outside of their professional roles, for any behaviour that brings the profession into disrepute. In this case however, the SRA have taken no such responsibility and instead have shown a woeful incompetence in the following ways:
- Failed to follow procedures in line with their own code of conduct
- Shown discourtesy to me and the harm and suffering I have endured because of this behaviour by a regulated solicitor in contradiction to the SRA’s own code of ethics
- Failed to consider and investigate the pages of evidence provided in detail and referred to throughout the complaint
- Failed to respond in a timely manner based on their timelines and commitments. In fact, on all three occasions they failed. If this was a court room, the SRA would be in contempt of court.
- Failed to comprehend crucially important details and minimising the problem at stake, such as a solicitor who lied to and misled a government agency and High Court
- Failed to handle my complaint legitimately where they have not acknowledged any wrong or harm done, even when clearly pointing it out and confronting them with it.
- Failed to make wrongs right and doing worse by digging in their heels and attempting to justify their actions while sweeping their wrongs under the proverbial ‘carpet’.
- Failed to take decisive action and provide reasonably consistent, complete and transparent explanations for their choices.
- Failed to answer repeated crucial and pertinent questions
- Failed to apologise for or accept their mistakes and take any form of responsibility
This ‘RAP Sheet’ is a list of all the relative failings, transgressions and misdemeanours I experienced through their process and is designed to hold the SRA publicly accountable for these incompetencies after making numerous attempts in writing to resolve the matter privately with them. As you will see below, I have listed the major transgressions and bring substance and detail to each of them, explaining my experience and how the SRA acted in return, in the form of drop down information.
WHY AM I DOING THIS?
We rely on institutions in various forms for society to function, and if certain bodies created for a good purpose – e.g. to regulate a particular profession like the SRA – and to uphold certain values for the public, but then they don’t perform that purpose and/or uphold those values, then it is not only useless and defunct but a lie. After all, why does a regulator exist if it’s not serving the public through taking regulatory action when it needs to, according to its own values, rules and standards? Who is it serving if that is the case? Is it just a sham or front designed to make money from membership while giving a pseudo aura of regulation and accountability, where none actually exists?
If the SRA claim to stand by various regulations and values that protect the public, then they either need to actually stand by them or fully answer for why they are now putting members of the public at risk of continued harassment by ignoring cases like mine the way they have. If we cannot trust the institutions that are supposedly there to protect us, then we need to be even more prepared to challenge them in order to push for responsibility taking and reform.
Whilst incompetencies of bodies like the SRA aren’t talked about and we, the public, remain singular and isolated cases of one man/woman (the Davids of this world) against the big bodies and institutions (the Goliaths), then we are impotent in our ability to ensure they operate by the values and standards they claim to uphold. Indeed if every company was held to truly living by the values they purport to live by, then the world would not look the way it does.
This is why David Vs Goliath is such a priceless and important platform to give the everyday man and woman a voice and a means to speak out in such situations. There needs to be a process and a means for bringing more public pressure to bear on organisations like the SRA when they are demonstrably failing to uphold their regulations and values and undermining the very profession they are seeking to uphold.
The following 21 points are here to ‘lift the lid’ on the SRA’s incompetence backed up with reason and evidence in the form of quotations from my correspondence with them. What this will reveal is the numerous strange ways in which the SRA have tried to deflect away from taking responsibility and failing to uphold their own standards.
A CONTEXTUAL OVERVIEW OF MY CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE SRA
Letter 1 – Initial complaint to SRA 20/03/23
- Correspondence with investigating officer Ms Sandra Ward with final response sent on 31/05/23
Letter 2 – To SRA CEO Mr Paul Philip 24/05/23
- Response from Mr Soni Sohpal, of the complaints team 26/05/23
Letter 3 – To Mr Sohpal of the complaints team 15/09/23
- Response from Mr David Browne (1) 03/10/23
Letter 4 – To Mr Brown 09/10/23
- Response from Mr Browne (2) 12/10/23
Letter 5 – To Corporate Complaints 02/11/23
- Response from Mr Sean Kent 30/11/23
THE SRA RAP SHEET
21 POINTS OF EMBARRASING INCOMPETENCE & INCONSISTENCY
Click each point for more detailed info
1. The SRA has the power to investigate a solicitor committing perjury by lying to a court of law but chose to overlook the evidence I provided of a false testimony given to a court by one of their regulated solicitors, Tania Francis. The SRA claimed it did not have the evidence to do so.
- I highlighted to the SRA that a solicitor had provided false testimony to a court and this is clearly a breach of their rules but they did not investigate it. I provided 7 pages of evidence to support this specific claim and still they failed to acknowledge this.
- I wrote in my second complaint:
“Tania Francis provided false testimony deliberately to damage the reputation of me and my business, comments which she did not need to add to fulfil a legal obligation to respond – her 7 provably false and 7 probably misleading comments were damaging lies which deliberately denied her responsibility and harassment of me, and numerous others. I cannot see [why] how the SRA can overlook this and condone this behaviour of a solicitor.”
- In my original complaint, I included the following paragraph:
“A document of evidence is included as a PDF attachment along with this letter to the SRA. More evidence can be provided on request given how substantial it is and depending on data protection, I’ve chosen to not submit it at this stage. For what is written above, please see section D in the evidence PDF document.”
- Despite this, David Brown of the SRA complaints department wrote in his letter to me: “We do not have evidence of whether Mrs Francis has – or has not – blatantly lied.
- The fact that not only Ms Ward and Mr Brown of the SRA had not seen the evidence, categorically shows the gross misconduct. It is not just a glaring mistake, it proves how incompetent the SRA are as well as brings their entire investigation into disrepute. To not investigate one of the main points of the complaint by two officers is outrageous!
2. The SRA were challenged as to why the SRA needs to exist if they always defer responsibility onto someone else.
- The SRA claimed that if false claims were made in a court of law, that the claims ought to have been handled within the court itself.
- In this instance, the entire ground in which Tania Francis’s false claims were made was thrown out to save the court time and resources. However this does not mean the comments were dealt with at the time and it does not change the fact that a solicitor chose to lie to a court of law and provide false testimony with the intention to destroy the livelihood of another person.
- I therefore challenged the SRA’s position on this, that if they always defer the responsibility to someone else, what was the point in them actually existing in the first place.
3.This case met the SRA’s own definitions of what would constitute their requirement to take further action and yet they did not take further action.
- The SRA responded to the question why they haven’t taken action in this case saying that they would “usually only take enforcement action on such matters if they impacted on the individual’s ability to deliver legal services or indicated that users of legal services may be at risk. In this regard, the type of issues that we may pursue as professional misconduct include criminal convictions and direct allegations of dishonesty which are supported by clear evidence.”
- However, when I challenged them that in this case there ARE allegations of dishonesty which ARE supported by clear evidence, they failed to adequately respond.
4. The SRA were asked how they considered the significant damage caused to me, my business, my reputation and my livelihood appropriate behaviour from one of their regulated solicitors. They did not answer.
- In my correspondence I wrote:
“Beyond Tania Francis’s harassment, her deliberate lies alone have caused significant damage to my business, my reputation, and my livelihood. How can this be something that as a regulator you feel is appropriate?” They did not answer the question.
- The complaints officers Mr Browne and Mr Kent were asked how they would feel if one of their family members were in my position, or if one of their family members was doing to them what mine was doing to me, how would they feel? Neither answered the question.
- The fact that these questions are not answered shows that the SRA, as a regulator, are condoning harassment and by all accounts have no issue with their solicitors engaging in the coordinated reputation destruction of members of the public or even their own families. This is extremely unethical for a regulator that supervises morals and ethics!
5. The SRA gave no conclusive and clear explanation as to why the harassment and behaviour of Tania Francis could not be classed as a breach of their standards and regulations and why they would not take action.
- The investigating officer for the SRA Sandra Ward was tasked with investigating my complaint against Tania Francis, within which she determined that the SRA would take no further action. However, when asked to elaborate on the reasons, the reasons stated either did not make sense, were contradictory or were completely vague. This means that although there have been violations of their standards and regulations, the SRA have not taken action.
- Point #9, #11 and #12 in this list show examples where the SRA were contradictory in the position they took against what they claim to uphold or in making a claim, as in point 9, that was extremely vague and unsubstantiated. The fact that there is more than one instance of this lack of professionalism from a regulator proves that the SRA are frivolous and arbitrary in their regulating.
6. I wrote to the SRA 4 times reiterating the same points and each time asking for clarification and explanation. They have failed to do this properly and thoroughly.
- The points I made in my initial complaint to the SRA on 20th March 2023 have been left unresolved and unaddressed with regards to Tania Francis’ behaviour. These points highlighted how Tania Francis had violated the SRA code of conduct and were repeated in each of my correspondence with the SRA. These points were:
- That Surrey police offered to arrest Ms Tania Francis after I reported her, and I asked them instead to just give her a warning which they subsequently did. Ms Tania Francis still refused to cease her ongoing harassment of me, Miss Melissa Francis, even after this warning.
- That Ms Tania Francis had been involved in the malicious online smear campaign and constructive sabotage of Lighthouse International Group (now Lighthouse Global). Extensive evidence can be provided to prove this and prove that these were posted after the police warning.
- That Ms Tania Francis provided false and misleading testimony to the Court as part of the smear campaign. Extensive evidence can be provided to prove this.
7. The SRA failed to meet 3 separate deadlines THEY set to respond to my correspondence.
- The integrity of the SRA’s investigation is in disrepute because they made three commitments based on deadlines they set and all three times the SRA did not meet them, nor did they communicate.
- On all three occasions, I had to follow up each time to find out what was happening and the SRA just ‘apologised’ and swept it away each time. If the same standards were brought into a courtroom, the SRA would be in contempt. How can anyone trust a regulator to uphold standards when they can’t keep their own? What is worse is that they brush their incompetence under the table.
- I outlined the nature of this incompetence in my email to the SRA CEO.
Having failed to receive a response in relation to my original complaint within the 15-20 day period promised on the SRA’s website, I initially had to follow up on my complaint. Following this I was contacted by Ms Sandra Ward who, on 2 further occasions has now written to me making time specific commitments that I would hear back with an update on my case with more information as to the next steps or outcomes. However, these deadlines have not been met. Ms Ward has apologised to me for the delay, albeit 3 working days after her promised deadline, but my trust in the SRA to handle my case with care has been damaged. How can I trust an organisation that is entrusted to maintain standards within the industry and yet they fail to meet basic standards of their own? It does not fill me with confidence.
- David Browne wrote back to me at a later stage in relation to these delays “I appreciate that we failed to meet our timeframe set on that occasion and am sorry for that but am of the view it was not a delay on our part that caused any lack of progression with our enquiries. Overall, I find no unreasonable delay in our progress.”
- Beyond an insincere “am sorry for that”, the SRA took no responsibility for the unprofessionalism of making deadlines and then not sticking to them or communicating any delays with due courtesy and respect.
8. The SRA were asked what they were going to do to make amends in this situation and more specifically how they were going to ensure that my complaint was going to be handled with the due diligence and care it deserves. They did not answer.
- After raising concerns about the SRA investigation with the SRA CEO, I was ignored on how the SRA would be making amends and was not ensured that my case received the appropriate care and due diligence it deserved. I received a PR response with a date by which I would hear back from the investigating officer. The SRA were showing already in these early stages that their attitude was dismissive and lacklustre.
9. The SRA used vague language and idioms to justify its position which then needed to be clarified as to what they actually meant.
- There were a number of examples where the SRA justified its position in terms that it had either itself contradicted in a previous sentence or that didn’t make sense or even tried to shift the blame back onto me.
- An example of this is that investigating officer Sandra Ward stated in her decision letter that I had “muddied the water in the matter” in relation to my complaint without explaining what she actually meant, what this was in reference to or why this was relevant to the decision they made
- It turned out that the idiom that I had “muddied the waters” in this instance related to my having written to Tania’s employer. Ms Ward tried to imply in the idiom, with information I had never heard before that the reason the police took no action against Tania Francis was my fault.
- To be extra clear on this point, Ms Ward’s suggestion that I had muddied the water was trying to claim that I had written to Tania’s employer and therefore I had somehow harmed my case to claim harassment. This is in spite of the fact that what I had written to Tania Francis’s employer was a cease and desist email requesting they counsel her to stop harassing me.
- I was also unaware that the police sent their own letter to Tania Francis’ employer at the time until a year later.
- This idiom reflects a scant regard to the details of this case, a failure to correctly communicate. It also reflects an attitude of the SRA wishing to justify their position and shield their solicitors from responsibility by shifting the blame back onto me. In addition, it shows a lack of objectivity that is needed by an investigator and shows a subjective bias on Ms Ward’s part. Neither are fit for any investigation and once again bring the investigation into disrepute.
- David Brown of the SRA then said that this was not Ms Ward’s comment but a comment the police had made. This is another example of the SRA not taking responsibility for its own incompetence and worse, justifying their wrong doing and shifting the blame.
10. The SRA investigator Sandra Ward said there were “mitigating factors ” but did not elaborate on what these were.
- Investigating officer Sandra Ward made a loose and unspecific comment that there were “mitigating factors raised by TF (Tania Francis)”. But she made absolutely no reference to what these factors were and my questions in relation to that comment were not explained at all.
- It is extremely likely that these mitigating factors were that Tania Francis claimed that she was trying to “rescue” me “from a cult” which, if Ms Ward had been paying attention, she would have seen that this was exactly the smear that I had raised in a number of my evidences to prove categorically that this was a lie by Tania Francis. To describe a “mitigating factor” so loosely, with such serious allegations, and pay me lip service with non-specific and vague language is insulting, unprofessional and is a disgrace to a profession that operates to protect and uphold the law.
11. The SRA have been challenged on how they are living their very own principles. They ignored the question.
- It seemed to me that the very principles that the SRA claimed to stand by and their standards and regulations for the behaviour of their solicitors were clearly not being upheld by the SRA in my interactions with them. For instance, if the SRA claimed to uphold public trust (see principle II in the list below) but then did not keep its own commitments to deadlines it sets (see point 7 from this rap sheet), then that did not foster trust and they were being contradictory to their own principles.
- The 7 SRA principles are as follows
- In a way that upholds the constitutional principle of the rule of law, and the proper administration of justice.
- In a way that upholds public trust and confidence in the solicitors’ profession and in legal services provided by authorised persons.
- With independence.
- With honesty.
- With integrity.
- In a way that encourages equality, diversity and inclusion.
- In the best interests of each client.
- The SRA did not respond to a single one of my 4 questions in line with how they were upholding these principles in regards to my complaint. This shows categorically that the SRA does not hold itself to these standards nor is it prepared to even give an answer to defend how they uphold any of these principles. How are they supposed to be trusted as a regulator who is supposed to hold solicitors to the rule of law? (which is, ironically, principle I!)
12. The SRA changed the parameters of their decision making when I asked them for clarification, proving either their incompetence at communicating or the arbitrary definitions by which they make their decisions, which they can simply change when it no longer suits them.
- The SRA could not clearly explain themselves around a stance they took that Tania Francis’ actions were ‘in her own time’. They, at first, tried to claim that the behaviour was not conducted within work hours, and when I challenged them on this, they tried to claim that Tania’s “own time” did not actually have to relate to company time, but her personal capacity.
- I responded to this as follows: As to Mrs Francis’ “own time”, where is the line between an individual’s character at work and “in their time”? If a solicitor is using a pseudonym, because it’s not using her real name – does that qualify as her ‘own time’ even though it is, in fact, still the same person?
- I was told that this was not what they meant but that Tania Francis was not acting within her professional capacity but in a personal one. This once again is a contradiction because solicitors have been investigated and charged for actions committed in their “own time” and in personal capacities. Once again, the SRA are justifying their wrong-doing and further brings the investigation into disrepute!
- It seems that to the SRA, they feel free to take an arbitrary view of a solicitor spending their free time attempting to decimate the life of another person and their associations. This means that the SRA can move the goalposts whenever it suits them to change the definition of terms when it doesn’t suit them. Once again bringing the investigation into disrepute!
13. The SRA took no action against Tania Francis despite writing that they did not condone her behaviour and that the report made for “uncomfortable reading” but elaborated no further on why this was or how they could both not condone and take no action at the same time.
- David Brown of the complaints team wrote that he did not condone Tania Francis’ behaviour and stated: “By not taking any action to investigate, we are not saying that a solicitor has acted correctly or that his/her actions are justifiable. We are not condoning what your sister has done. Your text makes uncomfortable reading in my opinion and the behaviour detailed has clearly caused you upset.” but again, as with previous incompetencies on this list, did not explain what he meant.
- I wrote:
“I do not understand what you mean by “Your text makes reading uncomfortable in my opinion.” I would appreciate you elaborating on this? More specifically I would want to know whether it is what Mrs Francis has written, the persistency of her seeking to control my life choices, her blatantly ignoring warnings from the police and yourselves or something else that makes you feel so uncomfortable?”
- I received no reply to this question. Which either means that the SRA is admitting their discomfort but unwilling to specify what is uncomfortable about Tania Francis’ behaviour and what, therefore, needs to be done about this. Or this is actually a lazy comment thrown in by Mr Browne to give a false sense of sympathy to try to appease me but really taking no action where the SRA has a responsibility to act.
14. The SRA have shown that they have absolutely no idea what the personal and professional impacts of a false and malicious smear campaign is, let alone the distress caused by discovering that one’s own family members are taking part in that smear campaign.
- The SRA have a total vacuum in their understanding of the devastating impacts of smear campaigns and targeted harassment. To anyone who has experienced online trolling, cyberbullying, stalking and harassment of this nature, it will be absolutely clear how destructive such campaigns can have on your life. As this is an issue that can affect anyone due to how widely used social media is, the SRA are not prepared to help people where social media abuse and harassment leads many people to anxiety, depression and even suicide where smear campaigns have caused significant damage.
- It also means that the SRA are completely in the dark as to the damage caused by solicitors who will use their influence to give a false sense of respectability to false accusations made against a person because of their position and status in a traditionally respected field like law.
- I wrote the following to the SRA:
- “If the SRA was being attacked with a smear campaign and hit with anonymous comments, and you, Mr Browne, had to read them only to find out that your own family member was a contributor – how would you feel?”
- When it’s evident that attempts to reason with this person directly are brushed aside because that family member believes they own you and your choices like that of their pet or a small child (when you are a physical adult), would you take proactive steps to stop the irrational behaviour or would you passively cower in the corner in the hope it would eventually stop?
- And if your family member insisted on their contribution to a campaign which had a direct negative impact on you, your life, your opportunities, the public’s perception of you, your reputation – are you and the SRA seriously arguing that you would not see there being any evidence of harmful conduct?
- The SRA did not respond to a single one of these points or give any glimmer of understanding that a solicitor being involved in such malicious conduct was grounds to take serious actions.
15. The SRA were challenged that if they truly had no jurisdiction to offer any kind of protection, advice and support, then what would they suggest as an alternative to make sure justice prevailed? The SRA provided no answer as to what an alternative suggestion might be. This shows that the SRA are not in the business of protecting the public, they are in the business of protecting themselves.
- The SRA were challenged that if a member of the public has no recourse to hold a solicitor accountable for dishonesty, then what else are they supposed to do?
- Whilst I was willing to concede that perhaps the function that the SRA served did not actually suit my case, for whatever reason, the SRA had no alternative suggestion.
- For example, if a doctor does not have a medicine that can help you with the particular pain you are feeling, they may still make recommendations to alternative therapies or other support.
- Even if a solicitor cannot help you with an issue you have, they may advise you to seek out other kinds of advice, or another area of law that might be of help.
- The SRA offered no alternative, no suggestion of help, support of any kind other than suggesting that I can call 999 if I am in immediate danger. This is sorely incompetent support and signposting.
16. The SRA were challenged on what safeguarding policies they have in place to be able to make an assessment of “not sufficient risk posed” to an individual who is targeted by a smear campaign. And they were asked what would constitute “sufficient risk”. They did not answer.
- This is important as it is doubtful that any policy exists that would reflect the hugely distressing, humiliating and traumatising effects of targeting harassment campaigns and smear campaigns. But they did not answer the question.
- David Brown of the complaints team was asked “what safeguarding policies do you actually have to give you guidance on this?” and he gave no answer. It is inconceivable that the SRA and Mr Browne should make judgement calls based on risk but then not actually have a risk assessment or safeguarding policy to actually substantiate that assessment.
17. The SRA do not hold themselves to their own regulations, their own principles and are completely unregulated to be held accountable.
- The SRA are undemocratic because they are not following their own principles and do not make it possible for them to be challenged and held accountable.
- They were asked who regulates them. They did not answer this, only stating that the Independent Reviewer can review their cases. This sounds promising at first, except that it turns out the Independent Reviewer does not challenge any decision by the SRA or launch any new investigation into the SRA. This was also only told to me after my 4th letter of escalation after my original complaint.
- David Brown of the complaints team was asked “Who regulates the SRA?” and he made no direct reply. However his last letter stated that if I was not satisfied that I could complain to the “The Independent reviewer”. Except that they don’t change the outcomes or launch any new investigation. Therefore the “Solicitors Regulatory Authority” has no regulation in itself.
18. The SRA do not have a genuine process as they do not investigate all breaches of their rules, only focusing on the ones that “pose a most significant risk” but could not produce a safeguarding policy or risk assessment policy to define how they assess that risk. This leaves the public open to further abuse, harm or personal, reputational or financial damage.
- The complaints process at the SRA is a glorified public relations department as they do not give a right to appeal or offer any kind of resolution. And they can dismiss anything they like on the basis of “significance”. The process is designed to make you go away as quietly as possible and not open for scrutiny.
- Sandra Ward stated this herself on 31 May 2023: “We do not investigate all potential breaches of our rules, we focus our efforts on the most serious misconduct which poses a significant risk to the public.” But as in point 16 in this list, they do not specify how they are measuring this risk.
- Upon complaining about this, David Brown from the SRA complaints officer stated on 3 October 2023: “As a Complaints Officer, I do not undertake a further investigation or offer you a right of appeal and I cannot change a decision that has already been made. However, if my consideration of your service complaint identifies any material error in our decision making, then I can refer the matter back to our Investigations Unit for further consideration.”
- Essentially, the SRA gives no means or recourse to be challenged at all. This is dangerous because of the risk posed to those being harmed by poorly regulated solicitors or even the SRA itself.
19. The SRA openly stated that they would take no action despite my fears for my own safety.
- The SRA were given details of the steps I had taken, what the impact of Tania Francis’ behaviour had been on my life, my mental health and my livelihood, including completely moving to a different part of the country for my safety.
- David Browne wrote: “We have concluded that we do not have the evidence of professional misconduct which would warrant regulatory action. This is despite your fears for your own safety.”
- Despite the fact that the SRA investigators missed the main point of my complaint and stated it openly. Refer to Point #1 above.
- The SRA have already made it clear that they do not have a safeguarding policy by which they assess risk. If the SRA fail to act where they could and serious harm is caused to a member of the public at the hands of one of their staff or solicitors (directly or indirectly), they are accountable and liable for not having done all they could to protect that person through saving an effective safeguarding policy in place.
20. The SRA either stated the wrong information from correspondence with police or the police lied to me about the action they took at the time of my initial complaint.
- For example, when I reported Tania Francis to the police for harassment in March 2022, the police officer asked me if I wanted her arrested and I said that no they should just give her a warning. After visiting Tania Francis, I spoke again to the officer who said that Tania had been warned and that she would not make any attempt to contact me (although she continued for another 18 months to try to use posting on Reddit as an indirect line of communication to me).
- However, investigating officer for the SRA Sandra Ward wrote to me: “A letter was sent to [Tania Francis] asking her to refrain from contacting you but upon visiting her, the police took no further action.” This shows either the police did issue a warning or they told me that Tania Francis had been warned but they actually didn’t warn her. Or the police did warn her, like they told me, and Ms Ward is trying to make it seem like they didn’t take any further action and therefore she’s justified in taking no action.
- Because all communication from the SRA has been so vague and unclear, it is impossible to get a straight answer about this.
21. The SRA repeatedly failed to understand the nature of Tania Francis’ contributions to the smear campaign despite my many explanations, leading to a mischaracterisation of my complaint and a deliberate misunderstanding of why any encouragement of such attacks would be distressing.
- By mischaracterising aspects of my complaint, Ms Ward felt justified in ruling that my complaint was not so serious as to warrant any further action. The basic principle here is that if you are looking for the wrong crime, you won’t find the perpetrator nor find them guilty of it.
- Officers at the SRA were clearly looking for Tania Francis’ posts on Reddit to fit a particular type of harassing content, and were incompetent to realise the point that I was making – the very fact that ANY person would post on such a forum (filled with over 1,200 statements of hate speech, abhorrent threats and the doxing of children directed) to post encouraging comments to a smear campaign is a culpable party in the context. The context of this smear campaign is that it is designed to destroy, hurt and attack me, my partners, Lighthouse, Paul Waugh and our clients.
- Evidence was provided and I wrote that more could be provided. The SRA still were utterly incompetent at seeing this.
- The information I provided the SRA was as follows:
- The smear campaign has lacked complete balance and objectivity as well as had racist, defamatory, religious hate speech, threatening posts, and the disclosure of the physical location of the Lighthouse Associates children.
- Her posts would allude to her “family member” who was “lost” and “brainwashed” whilst also supporting libellous claims that Lighthouse was a “cult” that was “destroying families”. None of the false claims Tania Francis challenged as to their accuracy but rather endorsed them. When I wrote to Tania Francis in August 2021 to ask her to stay away from the smear campaign as I suspected she was involved, she said that she did not find anything on Reddit to be harassing or libellous despite posts being racist, hate speech and grossly defamatory.
- One example is comparing Lighthouse to the Covid 19 virus, which was a post that Tania Francis endorsed on Reddit.
- They were told that more evidence could be provided: “and more can be provided.”
- Sandra Ward responded:
“You state her posts were racist and contained hate speech. […] I do not consider that the posts are racist or derogatory towards you. The activity has been conducted out of practice in her own time (see point 12 in this list) and I do not consider the content to be offensive.”
- In my next complaint on the 15 September 2023, I wrote:
- “Ms Ward also mischaracterized my claims against Tania’s comments claiming that these were not “hate speech” or “defamatory”. I had been clear that Tania had not written hate speech but had supported hate speech and been involved in dogpiling on wildly defamatory content against me and my business. There was no reason for Tania to be involved in any of these posts at all and there is no conceivable way in which involving oneself in such hateful content could ever be constituted as caring, which Ms Ward appears to have failed at understanding.”
- Complaints officer David Browne then doubled down: “You state that Ms Ward has not recognised [or] found your [sister’s] behaviour as “hate speech” or “defamatory.” These are not her words and I find no reason to question her explanations as to why she intended to take no further action”
- Repeatedly, the SRA failed to actually get the point of what I was raising with them. Either because they are incompetent or because playing dumb meant that they could stall and not take the matter as seriously as it deserved particularly as the posts clearly demonstrate a) encouragement of a psychopathic and destructive smear campaign, and b) pressure and coercive control in the context that they were written by an individual who had had police warnings for harassment.
READ ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE WITH HEMPSONS LLP
Organisations That Protect, Support And Indirectly Fund Predatory Trolls, Case 1: Graham Lea, Managing Partner At Hempsons LLP
In March 2022, I personally appealed to Graham Lea, the managing partner of Hempsons LLP and superior to my half-sister, Tania Francis, to inform him of her relentless harassment and coercion of me over the previous year and that I was going to be escalating the matter for my own protection…