Businessman obtains orders in bid to find out who is behind smear campaign against him

Businessman obtains orders in bid to find out who is behind smear campaign against him

The managing partner of a London-based private equity firm has obtained a High Court order aimed at establishing who is behind a social media account he claims is being used to smear his reputation.

The orders were granted, on consent, in favour of Mr Philip Rattle of August Equity LLP, who claims both he and his family have been upset by posts on a Twitter account set up in his name, which he has nothing to do with.

He claims the tweets are deliberately targeted towards maligning him and causing serious damage to his reputation, privacy and are defamatory.

He also claims the tweets are part of a smear campaign against him.

Mr Rattle, represented in court today by Niall Buckley Bl, obtained an order from the High Court against Microsoft Ireland Operations Ltd which provides the outlook.com email service.

Counsel said the order was sought because the Twitter account is linked to an outlook.com account.

The order requires Microsoft to provide him with information, including the name and address of the person or persons behind the email account.

Counsel said a similar order, also granted on consent, had previously been obtained against Twitter International Company.

However the information obtained from Twitter had not revealed who is behind the account at the centre of the case, counsel said.

The order was granted by Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds.

Previously the court heard that Mr Rattle doe not have a Twitter account, nor does he have an online presence.

He claims the Twitter account using his name, which appears to have been established using an outlook.com email address, was set up in September 2018 and was brought to his attention last December.

He claims the account profile describes the user as running a firm investing hundreds of millions of pounds in various UK sectors, as well as being 'Nationalist', 'Pro-Brexit and 'Anti-immigration'.

Mr Rattle followed the 'impersonation Twitter account' which he said has published a number of highly offensive and distressing tweets which are defamatory.

The posts include derogatory and racist comments about individuals in British public life such as London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Manchester City soccer star Raheem Sterling.

One tweet on the account also praises a man who allegedly racially abused a woman on a Ryanair flight last year.

He claims that he was shocked, highly distressed and upset by the posts, and says the account is clearly designed to make any reader believe that he is a racist, anti-semitic, and a bigot.

As part of that smear campaign, Mr Rattle claims both he and several investors with his firm have received messages, correspondence and packages containing false allegations about him and August Equity.

As a result, he has had CCTV installed at his London home.

He fears the smear campaign will continue unless steps are taken to restrain the alleged wrongdoers, and sought information from both Twitter and Microsoft including details about the persons behind the accounts.

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