Former City councillor William Campbell-Taylor has spoken out about a stalker who created a “cyber smear” scandal to ruin his reputation.
Last month City Matters reported Mr Campbell-Taylor was the target of defamatory direct mail distributed in the Middlesex Street Estate where he was campaigning to become Portsoken alderman.
The flyers accused the Anglican priest of grooming “a vulnerable male” for sex and were distributed to residents just over a fortnight before they went to the polls on 14 December.
But the harassment goes far deeper, according to Mr Campbell-Taylor who has recounted details of stalking, false allegations and threats of violence in a revealing post on his blog Hackney Preacher.
“For the better part of the last decade I’ve had a stalker,” he wrote.
“In the beginning, when we were colleagues, I didn’t realise that’s what it was. I tried to field his unusual intensity with everyday friendliness. It didn’t work. In fact my attempts to manage the situation made it far worse.”
“Five years ago I sought to break off all contact. Three years ago I went to the Police [sic]. Until now I have not spoken about it in public.”
Mr Campbell goes on to say that the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, delivered gifts – including a live hamster – to his home, threatened to circumcise him with a scalpel and made allegations of sexual assault, which he disseminated through fake news websites.
“Anonymous unsolicited news bulletins ‘reporting’ on these abuse allegations were sent to fellow councillors in the City of London, to clergy colleagues and friends across London diocese, to my wife’s friends and colleagues, the local rabbi,” Mr Campbell-Taylor wrote.
“To be clear: I have never had any sexual contact with this man. Nor have I wanted or sought to have any. I have certainly never abused him.”
Thames Magistrates’ Court issued a restraining order on 9 January this year prohibiting the man from making any reference to or about Mr Campbell-Taylor and his wife that “is likely to cause them harassment, alarm or distress”.
A police spokesperson has confirmed they are currently investigating concerns reported to them “in relation to matters of electoral process”.
At this stage no evidence has been released linking the individual to the flyers.
Mr Campbell-Taylor said he felt compelled to speak out after being approached for comment by City Matters on the allegations made in the flyers.
“The reason that I am putting this story on my blog is because there is nowhere amongst all the cyber smear that gives my account of what actually happened.”
“I want the truth to be at least visible within the fog that swirls about it.
“In the end, however, our good name is one we receive as a gift. It’s a grace bestowed neither by the magistrate’s court nor by the court of public opinion. And for that I give thanks.”