Man must pay over £27,000 in legal fees after meritless harassment case against Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy and his wife

A Blyth man will have to pay thousands in legal costs after his harassment claim against an MP was dismissed.
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Stephen Green claimed he had been harassed by Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy and his wife Maureen Levy, the Conservative Party general election candidate for Blyth and Ashington, and sought compensation, an apology, and an injunction.

District Judge Falzon, however, agreed with an application by Mr and Mrs Levy’s legal representation to strike out the case at North Shields County Court on Wednesday.

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The judge also ruled the case was without merit and ordered Mr Green, 64, to pay Mr and Mrs Levy’s legal costs, which totalled £27,215.

Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy did not attend the hearing at North Shields County Court.Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy did not attend the hearing at North Shields County Court.
Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy did not attend the hearing at North Shields County Court.

Gervase de Wilde, representing Mr and Mrs Levy, argued the claim was “so defective it should not be allowed to go forward” and that the allegations, even if true, would not amount to harassment.

Mr Green alleged that Mr Levy showed up at his house uninvited in July 2022, that he has since repeatedly parked outside his house to intimidate him, stood on a public road in Blyth and took pictures of his business, made complaints against Mr Green to the police in order to harass him, and that Mrs Levy behaved aggressively within his brother’s amusements business in Blyth.

He also claimed that correspondence from solicitors appointed by Mr Levy further constituted harassment.

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Mr de Wilde described Mr Green as a “disgruntled constituent” whose dispute with Mr Levy first began when he went to the MP for help with a planning complaint.

Mr Green later published a video on Facebook falsely accusing Mr Levy of expenses fraud. Mr Levy later took legal action against Mr Green’s brother, who republished the video online and on screens at his Blyth business Jackpot Amusements.

Mr Green made a series of other posts online about Mr Levy, including one that likened him to Hitler.

The posts formed the basis of a complaint by Mr Levy to Northumbria Police against him, which the court heard resulted in his arrest on March 12 and again on March 14 for breach of his police bail conditions.

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Mr Green, representing himself, accused Mr Levy of “misrepresenting the facts to the police” regarding the confrontation at Mr Green’s home and of “treating the police as his own personal enforcement arm.”

He also said he had experienced “anxiety, depression, and fear” as a result of Mr and Mrs Levy’s actions and argued that his posts exercised his right to freedom of expression.

Mr de Wilde argued that Mr and Mrs Levy parked near his address in order to visit their son, who lives two doors down, and disputed much of Mr Green’s characterisation of their proceeding interactions and correspondence.

After hearing from both parties, the judge said the case was “bound to fail at the first hurdle” and that there was “no grounds for bringing this claim.”

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On the subject of costs, Mr de Wilde said lengthy submissions to the court by Mr Green that were generated by artificial intelligence “caused confusion and generated extra work.”

He added: “The way in which Mr Green has made allegations against the defendant is absolutely outrageous” and branded the claim an “appalling misuse of the legal process.”

Mr Green believed his claim “was the correct way to go about things” but the judge decided costs could be paid on an indemnity basis, meaning they need not be proportionate.