Tuesday 30 September 2014

Final Charging Order...and Mr James is off

Update February 2015; Mark James is staying...

The telephone hearing was held at 2pm this afternoon and Mark James was granted his final charging order on my home for his damages from his unlawfully funded counterclaim.

The other news this afternoon is that Mr James will, at some point over the next few months, be clearing his desk and moving on, or retiring, or whatever. The council issued a statement today
that "....an application for severance has been received from the Chief Executive, Mr Mark James....there is a process to be followed to consider each application over the next three to four months. During this period, it will be business as usual for Mr James who will continue in his role as Chief Executive..."
As I understand it the post of chief executive will also become redundant and Mr James could potentially walk off with a hefty deal.

Interesting. If he is moving on to greener pastures, then he should carry a compulsory government health warning. Talk about leaving a trail of destruction...

As for today's hearing, my original request to the court to have this heard in locally, in Wales was refused. In addition, a last minute mix-up by the court meant that a different judge heard the application. He did not have any of the paperwork, or details of the case in front of him, including my objections which I have copied, in part, below. I was able, however, to give a summary of the main points.

Mr James now has a couple of options; to leave the charge in place, with interest of £166 per month accruing or to make a further application to the court to force sale of my home so he can get his money. The judge did not agree to freeze the interest.

As I have explained, this sum of money, over £30,000 relates to the damages, it has nothing to do with the costs which were awarded against me, £190,000 for the claim and £41,000 for the unlawful counterclaim. Mr James has, if nothing else, ensured that he has secured his money first, there is nothing left for the Council or for that matter, the taxpayer.

I add that should I have been successful with my claim, Mr James was at no risk as he had made sure that any damages he would have had to pay to me were going to be provided by the Carmarthenshire taxpayer.

As I have also said, on numerous occasions, I do not agree with the findings of either the trial judge nor the appeal court. However, I have little choice in the matter but I hoped today that the court may have given me the benefit of the doubt given the unlawful findings. Clearly not.

It leaves me with little else other than to say how I feel and I make no apologies for what I am about to say. I am in no doubt that by securing this charge on my home Mr James has gained financially from an unlawful action in public office; not just unlawful in principle but in practice as well.

You may remember he was present, and took part in the meeting when the indemnity was granted and used his own lawyer to provide 'independent' advice.

Quite clearly, public vindication was not enough for Mr James and if nothing else, this ongoing battle has revealed to me that he is a vindictive dishonest bully, and a control freak of the highest order, and has failed miserably to follow his supposed Christian faith.  All I can do is reiterate that I will fight this to the bitter end; I do not acknowledge the debt, either the damages nor the costs and as long as I have breath in my body I will try my damndest not to hand over one penny to either Mr James nor the council.

At this stage I do not particularly care about what has been said against me over the past couple of years, I know in my heart that all I have ever done is criticise a tin pot council, when necessary and try and bring some light and local interest into the dark corners of the local authority. I have never made false allegations about anyone, unlike Mr James. He will not be missed.

Neither have I hid behind a mask of anonymity.

If you are wondering why I am being so outspoken, it is the truth, plain and simple.

I shall, of course be continuing with the blog, whether it be from my home or from a bloody tent.

As I have said, I have copied the first part of my objection to the charge below, the second part consisted of personal, financial and family details which I will not be publishing.

Queen's Bench Masters
Queen’s Bench Division
Royal Courts of Justice
Case Ref; HQ11D04250 
Dear Sir, 
This letter and accompanying documentation is filed and served as my
objection to the Interim Charging Order, granted to the benefit of Mr Mark James on the 19th June 2014, being made final. 
Hearing date; 30th September 2014 at 2pm, by telephone. 
I object to the Charge on Title CYM**** being made final on the grounds detailed below. 
1.  The funding of the counterclaim which gave rise to the damages which forms the greatest part of this judgement debt has been found to be unlawful by Carmarthenshire council’s independent auditors, the Wales Audit Office (WAO).  
I enclose copies of the ‘Indemnity for Libel Counterclaim - Carmarthenshire County Council - Report in the Public Interest issued by the Wales Audit Office January 2014.  
I also enclose the legal advice from Browne Jacobson LLP commissioned by the WAO in respect of the libel counterclaim dated 19th September 2013. 
2. The decision to indemnify Mr James was found to be unlawful on two grounds;
Firstly, it was specifically prohibited under 6.(3) of the Local Authorities (Indemnities for Members and Officers)(Wales) Order 2006 (“ the 2006 Order“) therefore the decision was ultra vires. 
I enclose a copy of the 2006 Order. 
3.  Secondly, Mr James failed to declare a personal and pecuniary interest, or leave the Executive Board (Council cabinet) meeting on the 23rd Jan 2012 when the indemnity was discussed and approved.  
This also rendered the decision void and unlawful. 
Mr James also had input into the report recommending his indemnity prior to the meeting of the Executive Board in 2012. 
4.  Although the Wales Audit Office is unequivocal in its finding of unlawfulness, even the Council itself (meeting of full council 9th July 2014) has determined that the issue is unresolved and remains a matter for the courts to decide on a principle of public law. 
5.  As a result of the Wales Audit Office Report, the clause in the council’s constitution which allowed such indemnities, contrary to the 2006 Order, was permanently suspended at an Extraordinary meeting of Carmarthenshire County Council on February 27th 2014. 
6.  If Mr James is successful in this application then he would be benefiting financially from a decision which was found to be unlawful in principle and in practice. 
7.  In addition, the First Minister of the Welsh Government, Carwyn Jones AM publicly stated on the 8th July 2014 that “…we as a government have said that it is not right to provide any sort of indemnity in terms of what has happened here” 
8.  The Appeal Court judges in their judgment issued on the 14th May 2014 (Thompson v James [2014] EWCA Civ 600) specifically chose not to make any observations on the lawfulness of the indemnity provision, clearly recognising the controversy, and, after having seen the Wales Audit Office report. 
9.  The grounds above relating to the unlawful funding in Carmarthenshire could have been subject to a claim for a Judicial Review. Despite the prospect of further court action and possible cost risk I am still exploring the possibilities of a Judicial Review over the decision. I am hopeful that the time limit for bringing proceeding could be extended in these unique circumstances.  
10.  I ask the court to recognise this whole matter as an abuse of process and that the unlawful funding is highly relevant to the judgment debt for damages arising from the counterclaim and accordingly I am asking the court to set aside the Charge and any other enforcement proceedings and dismiss Mr James’ application.  
As a matter of principle, there is still an important point of public law yet to be resolved. 
At the very least, I believe that such a drastic step of a Charging Order on my home should not be made whilst this legal controversy is ongoing.


Anonymous said...

What a complete travesty. I feel physically sick.
Just know, though, that respect for you, with your courage, dignity and indomitable spirit, is as high for you as the contempt for that nasty little squit is low.
If ever there was a state of affairs to cause one to turn one's back on Christianity then this is it.
Keep blogging.

Anonymous said...

I have often commented on your committment to exposing the shameful truth regarding the lack of moral compass posessed by Mark James.The fact that he is leaving, with yes, a trail of destruction behind him only confirms this.
The strength of feeling portrayed in your post today will I know be echoed by many.Well done even now when you must feel there has been no justice

Anonymous said...

So very wrong but so typical of the money grabbing, self indulgent, self interested scum that have taken over so many "authorities".All with thier snouts firmly in the trough with no interest in serving the community. Just there to feast in gluttony on the unfortunate who have the balls to stand up and tell the truth about what they can clearly see is going on. Will the money benefit the council who paid out to save this odious man from paying his OWN legal costs ? Like hell it will. Who needs to pay out £2 for the lottery when all you need is a safe job working for most authorities.I really hope Karma gets him like with Terry Grange

Anonymous said...

How low and how evil can he get. He makes an absolute mockery of Christianity.
Carmarthenshire will be all the better for his departure. You have so much support and respect Jacqui -the same could not be said for the grinning dysfunctional one.

If you never have to sell your home, hopefully this means he can whistle.

The Judge should be ashamed - looks like they both belonged to the same club.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you can apply for his job and right so many wrongs...

caebrwyn said...

Anon 11:12
I think it will be like a black cloud finally lifting from County Hall. There was a noticeable difference when he went on his gardening leave earlier this year.

Anonymous said...

The problem however does not simply lie with Mark James.The whole flock of sheep who allowed themselves to be led into damnation should resign and leave at the same time.
Perhaps e few whistleblowers will come forward now having been empowered by his imminent departure.

Anonymous said...

How convenient of Mark James to be leaving at this point.His behaviour even now exhibits an arrogance beyond measure.What does he pray for as a supposed christian?
He had ample opportunity to avoid the consequences of the court cases but chose the vindictive option of going forward.To make matters worse he managed to have the cases paid for by council tax-payers.
There has never been a valid reason
or excuse for the cases which has cost You so much.
I think you should keep reminding everyone that,what has happened to you,but for the stance taken by the council,could have been settled in a far less devastating way

Anonymous said...

To quote the old saying (Rats and sinking ships)

Anonymous said...

It beggars belief that he is seeking monies from you when he didn't even buy the
lottery ticket. He used other peoples money. I hope some of his Christian friends cast him out. They need to make him aware of the sin he is committing because he clearly doesn't have the capacity.

Anonymous said...

I think it would be very prudent to find out where he is intending to go for his next job and you should perhaps provide his next employer with a dossier on him.

I simply cannot believe that anyone would have anything good to say or even recommend this idiot on the basis of what appears here.

It makes me wonder exactly how he has managed to secure a new position. Economical with the truth perhaps?

He should not be in public office, or any other office come to that.

Anonymous said...

He is in the most vulnerable position now...he has the most to lose..it only takes one whistleblower...time someone cooked his goose!

Anonymous said...

Even if I were to accept the court's view that Jacqui's attacks were part of an unreasonable campaign of harassment, which caused severe injury to the reputation of a fine public servant, the steadfast pursuit of his damages against a housewife blogger is wholly disproportionate, when it could lead to the loss of her home. Where is your humanity, man?

And what a sad, bitter end to a career, as he slinks off with his tail between his legs, his reputation damaged far more by what the WAO and Sir David Lewis have had to say than by Jacqui's libel.

As for his supposed Christianity, perhaps he might be guided by an Old Testament view of the world, but the teachings of Christ seem to have passed him by. Turning the other cheek, and loving your neighbour are just two of the Christian virtues which have been conveniently overlooked.