Climbing a Hill of abuse…

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Now this paedophile is in jail

The jailing of a Welsh lobbyist for making and distributing indecent images of children as young as three years old, highlights the horrendous level of online abuse suffered by The Eye and our Editor Phil Parry, including insults from him.

Daran Hill was found with 62 indecent images, among them eight in the most serious category after being arrested by the National Crime Agency (NCA) in 2021.

This was the opening sentence in the website WalesOnline’s (WO) report about his imprisonment:   “A paedophile who used to work as a top political consultant distributed sickening images of child abuse as young as three years old to others on the internet”.

When the law came to Daran Hill, he said: “I made a mistake”.

As this hard-hitting item makes clear, Hill shared many of the images with other users on a social messaging platform, and even after admitting his crimes, he was jailed for three years and four months, with only half of this heavy sentence (a reflection of how seriously this is viewed) to be served on licence.

When police arrived at Hill’s home in Cardiff, he told them: “I know why you’re here. I made a mistake”.

Hill was the national organiser of the Yes for Wales campaign for the first devolution referendum in 1997, then campaign director of the Yes campaign in the 2011 vote on giving the assembly primary legislative powers.

At one time he was a member of the Labour party but later joined the Conservatives and in 2020 said he offered his “services and loyalty” to the party.

He was managing director at Positif, which advised companies seeking to lobby Welsh politicians.

The month after his arrest he resigned as director of the company, which was renamed Camlas later that year.

His jailing has been as though a dam has burst, with a torrent of outrage now flooding out about Hill’s past behaviour from those who came across him.

The former Plaid Cymru (PC) Assembly Member and Director of Deryn Consulting (a Public Relations [PR] outfit) Nerys Evans tweeted a news item about him, saying: “This makes me sick to my stomach and makes my blood boil. This evil man, his crimes, his behaviour, and the people around him, who enabled, supported and kept quiet about him in welsh politcs and in the welsh media should be ashamed”.

Cathy Owens, another Director of Deryn, wrote on Twitter accompanying a different report about the antics of Hill said: “A decade of crap from this guy, amplified by chums and acolytes across politics/media. Might not have known extent of depravity, but they knew about his misogyny, bullying, appalling influence. Thinking about his victims, and those dismissed and denigrated when they spoke out”.

How much influence did Daran Hill have?

But enormous concern has been shown on social media that Hill managed to sway opinion-formers for a long time.

Linking her comments to a piece in WO, an angry Ms Owens also proclaimed on Twitter“I’d be fascinated to know exactly how many times this fella and his cronies worked on stories with @WalesOnline to try and take us out. It’s not as if we didn’t lay it out for you”.

Even before Hill had been exposed for the appalling crime he had committed, he had been one of those who had abused Phil, calling him “bitter”, and (ironically) a “misogynist” (misspelt) on Twitter, forcing him to take legal action after which a fulsome apology was forthcoming.

Daran Hill has been put behind bars

His public insults of Phil are as nothing compared to what he is now found to have done and been jailed for, but they do, unfortunately, fall into a familiar pattern and a personal statement has had to be issued.

Phil’s Wikipedia entry has been vandalised to include the words ‘tool’ and ‘knob head’, and he has been compared on Twitter to the comedy broadcaster Alan Partridge.

The Wikepedia entry has now been restored to its original form, after officials removed the abusive words.

The Alan Partridge comment was by a Sion Tomos Owen whose blog describes him as: “…a bilingual TV and Radio presenter, illustrator, writer and creative workshop tutor…”.

Mr Owen said in Welsh: “There’s no way that this website (The Eye) is for real?! It’s as if a Take a Break (light magazine) story has been edited by Alan Partridge” (laughing emoji).

Ellie Pitt – Phil was a ‘misogynist’ apparently…

Another remark which concerned a television ‘reporter’ who had posted pictures of herself on social media in skimpy clothes, is sadly typical of the insults constantly received online by The Eye or by Phil personally: “Your article on Ellie Pitt was bordering on mysogynistic bullying, a really pathetic article written by a bitter individual who was a complete failiure as a BBC correspondent and also loved bashing the Catholic Church with your disgraceful Panorama programme”.

In the past Phil has also been accused (incorrectly) of being a “bastard” (many times), an “anti-devolutionist wanker”, “pure scum”, a “liar” (also many times) a “little git”, and (correctly) a “nosey git”“irritating”, or a “nuisance”. But these remarks come amid many others. Too many, in fact, to mention.

‘Now look here abusers!’

Legal action is rarely taken (although sometimes it is, as shown after Hill’s public comment) unless the online message is particularly outrageous, and contains a libel (which most of them do).

Some can be rebutted in court using an “honest comment” defence (formerly known as “fair comment”), however most cannot, which means that any libel case is likely to be successful.

Hill knows this to his cost.

The law has rightly come down hard on Daran Hill’s behaviour

Perhaps he will think about this in his jail cell, where he can also contemplate the legal penalty for making and distributing indecent images of children as young as three years old…

 

Details of Phil’s astonishing decades-long journalistic career (when accurate stories about individuals often prompted abuse), as he was gripped by the rare neurological condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in an important book ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order it now.

‘BUY MY BOOK!’

Regrettably publication of another book, however, was refused, because it was to have included names.