Bexley Is Bonkers blogger Malcolm Knight, who was pursued by Kent Police for reporting on a Conservative councillor only to have a charge of harassment dropped at the last minute, has launched an unusual appeal to help pay his legal costs.
Knight, whose website offers a personal commentary on Bexley Council and its local politics, had been due to appear at Sevenoaks Crown Court in March 2018 after covering the case of Maxine Fothergill, who admitted defaming two business associates in a statement read out in the High Court in November 2017.
Fothergill, who lives in Fawkham, Kent, apologised in court for making the statements, which arose out of a dispute surrounding the management of a housing estate in Erith, close to the Colyers ward she represented on Bexley Council. Fothergill went to Kent Police, which charged Knight with harassment.
The Crown Prosecution Service dropped the charge the day before Knight was due to go to court. Knight has always insisted his reporting was factual. Fothergill stood down from Bexley Council at the last election.
Knight was saddled with a £3,600 legal bill – but was awarded only £323.45 in costs.
Now he has launched a fundraising appeal with a difference. Site readers who switch their energy supply to Bulb using this link before 11.59pm on Wednesday will get a £100 sign-on bonus, with Knight also getting £100. He hopes this will help pay off a chunk of his costs.
Knight has said that if he does get a big sum, he would like to give some of it to 853 and From The Murky Depths. If this does happen, any money which goes to 853 will be reserved for future local journalism projects.
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