May 2011: A Threat From Dominic Wightman

Last June, I wrote about an abusive attack on me which appeared on website called the Westminster Journal. Its author was a man named Dominic Wightman, who in 2006 had been in the public eye as a private “terror tracker” running an organisation called the “VIGIL Network”. VIGIL had subsequently collapsed in disarray, and in circumstances which showed that Wightman was demonstrably dishonest and perhaps delusional. In 2009 he attempted to involve Tim Ireland and myself in a grudge against another ex-member of the group, but he overreached himself by creating a bogus document in this person’s name which the police traced back to him.

Wightman’s response to being exposed more widely as a blatant liar and manipulator was to engage in a campaign of on-line harassment, aimed for the most part at Tim and using multiple sockpuppet identities through which he made false accusations and posted taunting and abusive messages. Wightman involved various associates in some of these attacks, including a personal friend of his whom I attempted to contact last May. Wightman’s response was a new abusive attack, this time under his own name, and posted on his Westminster Journal website. The original version of his post included the following threat made against Tim and me:

You’re still a pair of spineless losers and I’d love to run you down in my Toryblue Range Rover.

This may not sound very serious, but Wightman’s behaviour towards Tim in particular has been personally intrusive and increasingly non-rational, and they live geographically close by each other. Wightman realised he’d crossed the line, and soon after amended the article to

You’re still a pair of spineless losers and – albeit a fantastical dream – I’d love to run you down in my Tory blue Range Rover

However, the authorities became involved, and the Crown Prosecution Service decided to act. Wightman’s website disappeared soon after. Following some delays, the scheduled court case was eventually dropped in September for reasons that remain unexplained. Wightman later resurrected his website, although a good part of it now consists of general news items plagiarised from other news sources. Most of the abusive material has gone, although Wightman recently re-instated the piece that got him into trouble (this time without the threat, even as a “dream”).

If Wightman were just some random troll I probably wouldn’t bother blogging about it – but there are two aspects which mean that his behaviour is of wider significance.

First, it is alarming that someone of Wightman’s character could manage to take posing as a terror expert as far as he did. He appeared on television, he advised Patrick Mercer (who was at that time Shadow Minister for Homeland Security), he apparently worked with police, and he contributed to the creation of reports about extremism (in particular, as “Dominic Whiteman” he assisted Denis MacEoin with a report for CIVITAS, and VIGIL is thanked in a Centre for Social Cohesion report by James Brandon and Douglas Murray).

Second, Wightman has played a role as an activist for the Conservative Party in Shamley Green. Here, he was a neighbour of a Tory grandee named Douglas Morpeth, who was named as the Westminster Journal‘s patron until Tim and I realised that Wightman was dishonest. At this point (September 2009), Morpeth’s name was removed from the site, and Wightman warned us not to try to contact him. Wightman told us that Morpeth had in fact resigned in April and was on “his deathbed”, and that any disturbance would lead to “massive legal repurcussions”.

Happily, the best part of three years later Morpeth is still very much alive, and attending to his emails. Tim explains what happened when Tim wrote to him about Wightman:

Morpeth initially took no action and offered no reply, but saw fit to forward our private correspondence to others, including Wightman. When pressed for a reply after a month of silence, he was exasperatingly evasive.

Not long after this (the weekend before the CPS inexplicably dropped their case against Wightman after his threats or violence against me), Wightman sought to intimidate me via an anonymous email that implied I would be up on a manslaughter charge should Douglas Morpeth suddenly drop dead as a result of my daring to ask him any further questions.

I’ve seen this email, which was sent to Tim in the guise of a message from a Muslim who had somehow accessed Wightman’s emails to someone else.

However, Wightman’s involvement with local Conservatives goes further than Morpeth. Wightman has boasted that he has the support of Anne Milton MP, and that she wants “Ireland downed”. Tim asked Milton for an explanation, which was not forthcoming. Back in 2005, Tim discovered that two activists working for Milton had been using the internet to smear a political opponent prior to an election; these activists were themselves standing as councillors, and so Jonathan Lord, now MP for Woking and at that time Chairman of the Guildford Conservative Association, decided to deal with it with a discrete word to them in private rather than by dismissing them for bringing the party into disrepute. That seems to be the default position when this kind of thing happens.

UPDATE: I see that Wightman (writing in third person) is claiming that

Last year Wightman wrote that “if he found these two stalkers on his drive ….he’d love to run these two losers down in his Tory Blue Range Rover”. He was speaking figuratively.

This suggests that his threat depended on trespass onto his property; but, as usual, he’s lying, as can be seen from the original quote and its amended version above. Although Wightman had on another occasion fantasised about us coming to his house so that he could “fight” us, there is nothing in the article discussed above about “if he found these two stalkers on his drive”. He is also claiming to have received “compensation” from the Crown Prosecution Service, although a phone call to the CPS in Surrey has confirmed that this would not have happened.

3 Responses

  1. […] Comments Leica M9 review on Documentary Looks At UK Christian Right» May 2011: A Threat From Dominic Wightman Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion on Jonathan Lord MP Admits Activists Engaged in Smearing» May 2011: A Threat From […]

  2. […] the website of which he used to be Patron hosts distasteful and spitefully abusive falsehoods (and in May 2011 a threat to run Tim and me over). And now, despite the fact that new attacks against Tim, of the […]

  3. […] former director. This site has posted private information about where Tim lives, and its owner subsequently posted a fantasy in which Tim and I are run over by a […]

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