He Fought The Law (and the law won)

A Cautionary Tale

As you may have gathered from the subtitle, this is going to be a rather different post from my usual type, whatever that is. It is, however, one of the more important subjects about which I have written, so I hope you read it. I should warn you that it is a topic which I wish had never come anywhere near my blog, as it is so horrible, but I feel strongly that I need to write and share this.

I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion my ambivalent relationship with social media, particularly Twitter. Whilst I acknowledge how helpful this was in drawing me back into the world from the depths of my depression period five years ago, I have used it much less of late. One of the reasons for this is that I am very wary of who might really be talking on there. Most are, happily, upfront in saying who they are and their tweets reflect that. But others aren’t. Some, but not all of these, hide behind an avatar which isn’t a picture of themselves. Others Photoshop themselves into an idealised image of what they would like to look like – or, in the sadder cases, what they believe they actually do look like. These are often hiding someone whose purpose in being there is to conceal a real life existence to which they would rather not admit – even to themselves – and/or to use Twitter as a vehicle to abuse others with a degree of impunity. Of course I accept that many have perfectly legitimate reasons to use avatars, privacy being the most genuine of these. Sadly, others use them for less noble reasons.

At the time he closed his account last year @fiatpanda had, I think, around 10k Twitter followers. They must have been big fans of his regular outpourings of vitriol and his obsessive use of the ‘c’ word, which I never use even to myself, so I’m not about to start now. And in his case ‘c’ doesn’t stand for ‘car’ or ‘cuddly.’ He is one of those wannabes who cling to the coat tails of Z-list ‘celebrities’ in the hope that he can achieve their level of ‘fame,’ despite being an IT technician with no other appreciable talents. Frankly, though, the thought that he has the skills to hack into computer systems terrifies me. He never used his real picture and instead used a nice little panda to go with his chosen fake name. Here he is:

Oh, wait, why is there blood dripping from his hands? I’ll tell you why. In real life, @fiatpanda is actually a man by the name of Simon Guerrero. This is what he really looks like:

Fairly unremarkable, though to my eyes there’s a hint of malevolence about his appearance, a bit of a cross between Hitler and the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

My interest in him is that he was, for a year, one of the many ex-boyfriends/casual sexual partners of the ex-wife of a friend of mine. She was also very active on Twitter. She closed her previous account, with around with 13k followers, most of whom would no doubt be horrified and surprised to find out what she is really like, and how they have been fooled by the façade she presents. But she returned a couple of months ago, and was slowly building follower levels. However, her new account disappeared when she realised that Guerrero’s number was up. I called her out a few weeks ago, and was met with her usual victim act, plus random abuse from some of her followers, who have clearly fallen for her false persona and lies. I could go on at great length about her use of Parental Alienation (PAS or, on Twitter, #PAS) to deprive my friend of access to his daughter, and how she has systematically wrecked her children’s upbringing, but that is not my objective with this piece. The temptation to expose this woman is great but I’m not going to say any more about her. For now. The point of this piece is to reveal Guerrero for the piece of human detritus that he is.

If you Google his name you will find references to this, from 2008:

What a nice man, you might think. But times have moved on and he has revealed his true nature. Last month, Guerrero was found guilty at Swindon Crown Court on 8 charges of child pornography, 5 of which were listed as Category A, the most serious type. Just to be clear, Category A covers ‘penetrative sexual activity and sexual activity with an animal or sadism,’ to quote the Crown Prosecution Service guidelines. The case was originally due for trial in March 2016, but was delayed twice while further evidence was gathered. This included liaison with the FBI, whose radar he had landed upon due to his activity on the dark web. I understand that some of the images and films which caused Guerrero to be charged involved very young children and animals: there can be nothing more sick, perverted and evil than that. Now that the pre-sentencing reports have finally been completed he was sentenced on Thursday to 21 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to go on the Sex Offenders Register for ten years, and to surrender all of his computing devices. He pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, and his defence throughout the trial was to profess ignorance about how this stuff came to be on his computers, apparently unknown to an IT expert like him. The jury rightly saw through this and Guerrero only changed his tune on this at the sentencing hearing, at which he apologised to the judge. I wasn’t there, but I know someone who was, and there is some doubt about the truth of what he told the judge when he was trying to avoid a prison sentence – there may yet be more of this story to come.

As an example of the way he presented himself on Twitter, I have found this summary of the various profile descriptions he has used over the years:

A general touch of arrogance runs through those, which is just so typical of him. I’ve been told that he started the account, with the same avatar and @fiatpanda name, some six or seven years ago, purporting to be James May, from the BBC Top Gear programme. He was outed as a fake account, but I guess that’s one way of driving up your follower numbers.

Guerrero is also a self-published author, with one ‘book’ to his name. To save you the trouble, here’s a screenshot of it from Amazon:

Your first reaction may be that 99p is a trifle expensive for an 8 page story by an unknown author. Mine too, but look more deeply. If you go beyond all those 5 star reviews which he no doubt managed to persuade his friends to leave, you’ll see that this is a story for children. It takes a very weird and perverted mind to write something for an audience who constitute his preferred target of abuse.

I once ‘enjoyed’ a little of his Twitter abuse. I had said a couple of things which made it clear that I supported my friend in his ongoing battle against his ex-wife, who was at that time Guerrero’s ‘love interest.’ Clearly, he believed all of her abhorrent lies about my friend, and turned on several of us for supporting her ex-husband. By his standards, this was mild – he only called me ‘a very stupid man,’ rather than his preferred mode of abusive terminology (c*** if you had forgotten). It pales into insignificance alongside the horrible abuse he gave my friend on Twitter, which might have destroyed a lesser man. And all because his brain was in his todger, rather than his head.

This evil man now has a criminal record as the vilest of sex offenders, which I would imagine will make it difficult for him to find work in future: would you trust him to work on your computer network? I know I wouldn’t! I also hope that his ex-girlfriend, my friend’s ex-wife, is next in line to be charged. I find it impossible to believe that she knew nothing of what he was doing, much of which took place while they were in a relationship and he was with her and her daughters. She tweeted often at that time about her youngest daughter running around the house naked – it doesn’t bear thinking about really, does it? If so, I’ll be sharing some thoughts on her too, if and when her time comes. Wishful thinking, maybe, but I live in hope. In the meantime, I hope she can live with herself knowing that she was the sex toy of a despicable man who may well have been preying on her younger children.

As I said at the outset, whilst you will no doubt have picked up the strength of my antipathy towards this man, this is meant to be a cautionary tale. Are you always sure who you’re dealing with on social media? Thankfully, most aren’t like Guerrero, but please take care. As I said earlier, my usage of Twitter is greatly reduced from my first couple of years there, and I prefer to keep my online social interactions within Facebook, which is more easily controlled. Several of you have become Facebook friends, and I value this. Equally, quite a few of you are with me on Twitter and Instagram too, which is fun. But lurking in the bigger, wider world are people you wouldn’t want to know, hiding behind the façade of respectability that online personae can give you. That is why I felt so strongly that I had to write this piece: sadly, there are probably many more like Guerrero lurking out there. Be alert.

A brief footnote: you’ll probably have realised that I’ve shortened the story quite a lot for this post. If you’d like to know more – from someone directly on the receiving end of Guerrero’s abuse – you can read my friend’s post here. Or, if you are on Twitter, search for the #SimonLGuerrero hashtag – there’s a lot there! Beware, it isn’t pleasant but, then again, neither is Guerrero.

And a final apology: I’ve thought long and hard before posting this piece, as I know it runs the risk of offending and upsetting my regular friends and readers. I apologise if it does, but I hope you can agree that the importance of the subject outweighs this risk.

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Watching The Wheels

I seem to have lost a month. How careless of me! As you may have spotted from the recent hiatus, I’ve been ill and just didn’t feel up to blogging. They told me the virus would take 6 weeks to get out of my system – and they were right!

Firstly, I’d like to thank all of you who have wished me well, both here and on Facebook. Good blogging friends are irreplaceable! Also, a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who has visited my blog while I’ve been absent. I’ve been stunned by the levels of views, likes, comments and new follows even at a time where I haven’t given you anything new.

So, what have I been doing? The short answer is….not much, if I’m honest. In the early stages the viral infection caused me so much pain and soreness that I didn’t feel like doing anything. I then got into a routine of watching far more daytime TV than is good for anyone’s sanity! If the programmes don’t get to you the adverts will – what exactly does it mean to be ‘so moneysupermarket’ anyway, other than being a total moron behaving inappropriately? But mostly I’ve been a watcher of life and events as they have been unfolding: that poses risks to our sanity too!

We are living in strange, unsettling times. I wrote a piece some months ago about politicians’ need to tell lies to get what they want. Recent events, particularly in the US, have shown how spectacularly I underestimated their capacity for untruths. Or ‘alternative facts’ as we are now informed they should be called. And it seems I was wrong to hope that the Orange One would tone down his views after being elected. But he had record crowds for his inauguration, everyone loves his executive orders, the protests against his ‘it isn’t a Muslim ban’ are orchestrated by paid stooges, so all is going swimmingly well, isn’t it!

One thing I haven’t done during my absence is watch any so-called ‘reality TV,’ as these programmes bear no relation to any form of real life that I know or would want to be a part of. Even the names can be misleading: be honest, how many of the participants in the recent series of ‘Celebrity’ Big Brother had you heard of? It’s not as though anyone from a reality show has ever gone on to succeed at anything in real life, is it? Oh, wait……. It would appear that the American people have elected as their President (or POTUS45 as he is known) the former host of their version of the Apprentice. Please, UK, don’t even think about doing the equivalent of that here! The thought of Lord Sugar running this country fills me with almost as much dread as the thought of the Orange One on his mission to destroy the world in four years or less. And a quick aside: why do they call him POTUS45 yet they try to give the Superbowl a touch of class by listing it with Roman numerals, i.e. Superbowl LI? Shouldn’t they try to give their President some class too? POTUS VL has a certain ring to it, I think. But then again, no matter how hard you polish a turd it’s still a turd…. although he may have given some meaning to what I think it means to be ‘so moneysupermarket’ – see above for the definition!

There have been some good points in my recent absence, though, in respect of this blog. My post Mental Health Matters seems to have taken off like none of my posts has ever done before. I wrote it 4 months ago and it is still receiving ‘likes’ on an almost daily basis – over 90 now. I’m grateful to all of you for this, as it is an important issue. I now have over 500 followers for this blog, and more are joining every day – again, my thanks to you all! This has encouraged me to keep writing about the topic which seems to be attracting most of you – mental health – particularly since the UK Government’s recent announcement of more support for mental health treatments. A post on that will follow in the not too distant future. Spoiler alert: I’m not convinced by them!

My Facebook friends will have noticed that I have been sharing many more political posts recently. No one has unfriended me yet, but I suspect that some may have hit the ‘mute’ button! Taking time out to become an observer of life has filled me with many fears for our country – Brexit means being a poorer relation with a totally uncertain future – and for the world as a whole. Can any of us sleep soundly knowing that the nuclear codes are in the very small hands of a petulant, thin-skinned, childish, bullying tyrant who clearly hasn’t the slightest clue what his new job actually means? In my own small way I’m trying to do my bit against him – I’ve followed him on Twitter and have taken to retweeting his comments with my own added. I don’t know if this will work, but I’m hoping he blocks me as I could wear that as a badge of honour!

I chose the title for this piece from a song by a man who was sufficiently committed to stand up and protest for what he believed in. The anti-Trump protest movement in the US and around the world needs to keep doing the same, or we’ll be watching the wheels fall off, not go round:

I’m off to catch up on all your blogs – I’ve missed a lot in the past month or so! See you again soon.