An Apology . . .

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Yesterday I received an interesting, possibly threatening, e-mail relating to something I wrote, in response to a comment, on March 23rd. Also, messages to my Facebook account telling me that the e-mail had been sent. Curiously, the e-mail was sent to two accounts I do not use, one being closed and the other able only to receive (not send) mail. The writer addresses me as “Mr Davies”! Whatever, let us examine the contents of the e-mail, reproduced on the right, click to enlarge.

The e-mail is from Malcolm Kinzett, father of ‘Rocking’ Rene Kinzett, former leader of the Conservative and Unionist faction on Swansea council. More specifically, my comment of March 23rd, and Kinzett pere‘s complaint, concerns his other son, Richard Kinzett, jailed for a serious assault on an off-duty copper outside the Uplands Tavern in Swansea.

The passage in question, written by me in response to ‘Macsen’, and as quoted by Malcolm Kinzett, reads: “Seeing as you may know him (‘Rocking’ Rene), Macsen, you probably remember the time his brother came to visit, and stabbed an off-duty copper in an Uplands pub. At the trial Rene swore his sibling was a saint, and that he (‘Rocking’ Rene, no less) would ensure the boy behaved himself if let off. At the end of the trial the brother’s previous was read out . . . a right thug, who was sent down for a long stretch”.

ReneTo which Malcolm Kinzett says: “The part underlined is libelous given that it is a published statement which defames two named individuals in a manner that causes a reasonable person to think worse of them. As you may know, a private individual must only prove negligence to collect compensatory damages, rather than malice. The “off duty policeman” you refer to was not stabbed and René never spoke for his brother like you have stated in the trial at Swansea Crown Court. Indeed, he only spoke the once at the Magistrates Court during the bail hearing and NOT at the trial and all he said then was that he would be letting Richard stay with him at his house whilst on bail. I would ask you to please prove to me that René Kinzett swore his sibling was a saint and that his brother would behave himself if let off. The statements attesting to this in your blog comment are all completely untrue but as you have stated it as true to anyone who reads your blog, you have defamed the two named”.

After reading that I now realise I was wrong in what I wrote. A number of corrections are required. The attack took place outside the pub, after Richard Kinzett had been ejected. ‘Rocking’ Rene spoke up for his brother at the magistrates court hearing, not at the Crown Court trial. I said Kinzett was sent down “for a long stretch”, maybe I should have made it clear that he was actually sentenced to life. The father also claims that his son did not stab the off-duty policeman. According to the Evening Post (March 23, 2005), “He used a knife to wound an off-duty police officer in the face”. Which I suppose could mean that it was not technically a stab wound, maybe a slash. Even so, we’re splitting hairs here. Which leaves only the bit about “Rene swore his sibling was a saint”. I’m prepared to accept that he didn’t use the word ‘saint’, but he would obviously have painted a good picture of his brother in order to get him bail. I therefore retract the bit about ‘Rocking’ Rene describing his brother as a saint “to get him off”. And, er, that’s the extent of my apology. Now it’s my turn.

Malcolm – don’t mind if I call you Malcolm, do you? – I’m a father myself (and a grandfather), so I understand that the fruits of our loins don’t always live up to our expectations. In your case, you’ve had a real bum deal; the lesser disappointment is a knife-wielding thug while the real heart-breaker must be the one who belongs to the same party as Cameron and Osborne. Words are not enough to convey my sympathy. Though, of course, these facts make an absolute bollocks of your suggestion that I have “defamed” either of them! So let’s move on from your groundless and rather silly complaint.

I made fair comment in a public forum to which you could have contributed. Instead, you chose to make enquiries about me and then made a ludicrous threat of legal action. At least, I’m hoping it was a threat of legal action. For some might interpret “I will have no choice but to act upon it” and “I will act, you can be sure of that”, as threats against my person, given your son’s record, and the fact that these statements were made in private correspondence.

I have considered your complaint and given my response. The matter is at an end. I want no further contact with you or your family. Though if you pursue this issue, or seek to defame me in other fora, then I shall reconsider my options.