Metropolitan Police Compensates Blogger Three Years After Arrest

A letter from the Metropolitan Police to blogger Simon Just and his wife:

11 March 2020

Dear Mr and Mrs Just

Re: Your request for financial compensation from the Metropolitan Police – PC/27 [Redacted]

As agreed, by way of full and final settlement of your claim, please find attached a cheque in the sum [Redacted] which includes [Redacted] settlement fee and [Redacted] payment on account of costs.

Yours sincerely



Directorate of Legal Services

The letter has been published on Simon’s blog, as evidence of police malpractice in relation to his arrest on allegations of stalking January 2017 over his online writings (as well as social media accounts he says he had nothing to do with). He explains:

I had taken a stance that there was a public interest in the online behaviour of various individuals and I wasn’t going to be strong armed into silence, simply because it supposedly impacted on their feelings providing that I was limiting my posts to observations and opinions of my own or opinions based on other evidence. There was no intent to harass anyone, there were posts which were made with the wider public interest in mind and to create a timeline of events which could later prove useful. In the latter regard that has proven absolutely crucial in other matters.

I wrote about the case in May 2017, after the police dropped the case. Simon’s writings were concerned with problematic “VIP abuse” allegations, and he was also helping a man named Darren Laverty with his defence against an allegation of stalking. The case against Laverty reached the CPS, but was dropped when “further evidence” came to light – and it is reasonable to suppose that this was evidence that the police had been negligent in not putting before the CPS earlier.

It is also reasonable to suspect that Simon’s arrest and bail were primarily part of a strategy to undermine Laverty, and that the case against him was dropped when it no longer served this purpose. As Simon writes:

Laverty’s case being investigated and prosecuted effectively by the exact same officers who had nicked me… no agenda there at all then? I’m being sarcastic.

So when the officers found out that they were effectively witness intimidating me the look of shock on their faces was a picture to behold. Whoops. They were also potentially compromising any defence material that had not yet been passed over to the defence team and were possibly doing so deliberately.

It should be noted that Simon’s arrest had been celebrated by what we might call the “Operation Midland cheerleader” crowd, with Tweets from the likes of Exaro‘s Mark Watts crowing about “green bottles” falling. This was during the dying days of the Operation Midland fiasco, at a time when it was obvious that “Nick’s” allegations were not going to lead to the earth-shattering revelations on which Watts had banked all of his journalistic credibility. The arrest of a sceptic, then, served as some psychological consolation prize.

Simon draws some parallels with Midland (square brackets in original):

The same errors which appeared in Operation Midland and the seriousness of the search warrant issues apparent within the Met was flagged up yet again in today’s [Friday 13th March 2020] HMICFRS Inspection report….

The officers concerned had actually worded the warrant as though I was threatening individuals [I wasn’t and nor were the accounts actually under investigation to the best of my knowledge] and even worse that I was the owner of things that had no relation to the material they were really investigating. i.e. they named old twitter accounts which I’d already admitted were mine not the ones they were investigating.

In fact, I’d not been on twitter with an active account for around 18 months before the time of my arrest.

This raises an important question:

…If offences had been made out [by whoever was operating those specific accounts that were actually under investigation] then why didn’t the investigation into the real identities of those accounts continue and alternative means of identity be investigated?…

The cops don’t just normally ditch what is meant to be a valid case just because they have the wrong suspect.

Or putting it another way, the complainants were using the police as a private army and to hell with the consequences.

One further notable aspect of the police action is the disproportionate resources involved. Simon lives far from London, in Cumbria. Yet Metropolitan Officers were dispatched first to Liverpool, to take a statement from an accuser there, before descending on Simon’s home. Although Simon’s police interview took place at his local station, one wonders if there was a reluctance to liaise with local officers for some reason.

There is also this very telling and troubling detail:

I also had received a letter from the SIO in the case against me asking me to collect my computer equipment from Wimbledon Police Station over 300 miles from where I live. I replied back saying that the Met had a duty to return the equipment either to me directly or to my local police station. They eventually hand delivered the equipment in November 2017 but there was no apology nor acceptance that they’d screwed up.

It is difficult to believe that the police simply failed to think about whether it was reasonable to ask someone to undertake a 600-mile round trip just to pick up their property. It looks to me that this was a calculated and petulant attempt to create massive inconvenience as some kind of revenge. This is what is known in police jargon as “oppressive conduct”, and it raises concerns about what kind of culture of policing there is at Wimbledon Police Station.

The above are just a few points from the post that I have chosen to highlight. Simon took on the Metropolitan Police as a litigant in person, and his post includes a “checklist at the end of this article in order to assist others in future if in similar situations to mine”. The full post also has further context.