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Boss of Notorious UK Internet Copyright Troll Firm Sent to JAIL in Tears

Saturday, September 24th, 2016 (8:16 am) - Score 2,310
internet law uk

The Managing Director of consultancy firm Hatton & Berkeley (H&B), Robert Croucher, which became notorious for hounding subscribers of UK ISPs (e.g. Sky Broadband) with letters demanding payment for suspected Internet piracy, has been sent to jail in tears after assaulting a Taxi driver.

The practice of so-called “Speculative Invoicing” is widely frowned upon, not least due to its reliance upon fallible IP address based evidence (usually gathered via public File Sharing networks) and for the bullying nature of its approach. People who fail to reach a settlement are often threatened with court, but such action almost never occurs and those cases that have been attempted were not successful.

H&B became a familiar name after they teamed up with TCYK LLC to hound hundreds of UK Internet users by accusing them of helping to share the film ‘The Company You Keep‘ over BitTorrent (P2P) networks. In one example a computer illiterate 83-year-old grandmother was even hit by demands for £600 to avoid prosecution, which caused some degree of outrage (here).

However it may please some people to learn that the boss of H&B has been sent to jail in tears after he violently assaulted a Taxi driver, Mohammed Hussein, while heavily intoxicated. The court documents state that Croucher slapped, pushed and then kicked Mr Hussein a number of times, including to the head.

The incident occurred in London’s Chelsea district as Croucher, who was being accompanied by H&B’s operations manager Brigitte Kudor, attempted to get a ride home via Uber after being denied entry to a members-only nightclub (Raffles). Understandably the taxi driver didn’t want an angry drunk in his car and at that point Croucher did what angry drunks do best, be a jerk and kick people.

Statement from Raffles (The Register)

Mr Croucher is not a member of the club, nor was he being accompanied by a member. Furthermore Mr Croucher was heavily intoxicated when he approached the club and became aggressive and abusive towards our staff upon refusal.

The club takes the upholding of the key licensing objectives very seriously and would like to praise the members of our security staff involved for their swift and decisive action. Their actions prevented what could have amounted to a far more serious injury to a member of the public just trying to do his job and facilitated Mr Croucher’s arrest and subsequent conviction.

Technology also played a key role as the body cameras worn and operated by our security staff incorporate audio recording, which, coupled with our CCTV, provided the club with necessary means to assist the police in full and to a satisfactory end.

According to a report in The Telegraph, Croucher is said to have given the following statement before being sentenced: “This will destroy my life, I am the director of a company and everyone would lose their jobs. We have 1,000 clients, we have staff all around the country, and it would die,” said Croucher. Shame.

It’s worth pointing out that Croucher initially tried to escape a more serious punishment by lying to the court and telling them that he didn’t kick the Taxi driver. He obviously wasn’t counting on the evidence from CCTV and several witness statements. Whoops. Maybe he should have sent a threatening letter instead.

Magistrate Sandra Blandford told Croucher, “Get used to life being different.”

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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6 Responses
  1. You just can’t help but feel that copyright trolls are just so arrogant that they think they are entitled to go anywhere and harm anyone. It shows it takes such a character to conduct speculative invoicing. against innocent ISP subscribers.

    My sympathies are with Mr Hussein, but I do raise a smile for Mr Croucher going to jail. 20 weeks is not enough for kicking a helpless man in the head, so in a way he was lucky it wasn’t longer.

  2. Avatar Bob2002

    Is it my imagination or are the judiciary turning into jumped up school children? Blandford is in an apparently rather serious job dispensing justice, and in total control of the situation – there is simply no need to throw in a comment that sounds like it came from a teenager’s Twitter account.

  3. Avatar Data Analysis

    “Croucher is said to have given the following statement before being sentenced: “This will destroy my life, I am the director of a company and everyone would lose their jobs. We have 1,000 clients, we have staff all around the country, and it would die,” said Croucher.”

    Typical statement from a typical individual that thinks they can do what they want. Being found guilty and going to jail is not what is destroying your life. You destroyed your own life and career well before that with your own actions. Lets hope the scum bag learns the world does not revolve around them in their 20 weeks inside, though i would not count on it.

  4. Avatar captain.cretin

    Deliberately kicking someone in the head should be charged as “attempted murder” and the sentence should reflect the seriousness (5 years before parole is considered).

    If that driver had a pre-existing condition he could well have died from the first kick, and repeated kicks only increase the chances of even a healthy person dying or suffering permanent brain damage.

    Disclosure; despite being 6’6″ and looking perfectly healthy, I am chronically ill with an incurable blood disorder; if that had been my head, I would not have survived the first kick.

  5. Avatar Optimist

    I hope he gets disqualified to be a company director.

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