I have been publishing Fitzroyalty as a local news website for over 10 years. It is a hobby, albeit one I approach with a professional sense of media ethics based on my background in academic publishing. Sources are acknowledged and credit is given.
I had an anonymous online stalker in 2010, reported it to the police, and had an appointment at the Fitzroy Legal Service to find out what the law could do to help me. The answer was nothing without being able to identify the stalker.
In 2011 I gained unwanted attention from the anti street art activist called Sweaty, but they too went away after I demonstrated that they were attempting to extort street artists, which is a serious criminal offence. Curiously someone claiming to be Sweaty posted a comment on Fitzroyalty only a couple of weeks ago. I deleted it of course.
Earlier this year I received a series of intimidating phone calls from an anonymous male caller, who refused to identify himself and demanded I confirm my identity. Each time I refused and hung up on him. The number was hidden so I had no way of knowing who was calling or where from, and thus what they wanted.
Today things got nasty again. The same male caller from earlier this year repeatedly called me this morning, demanding that I confirm my identity. I refused again. He told me he knew my home address and recited it to me to prove it.
This time he was willing to disclose his identity. He told me his name was Leigh Cornish and asked me if I remembered it. I said I didn’t. He told me I had written an article about him on Fitzroyalty. A quick search led me to the Auguste Clown story.
As I have on a number of previous occasions, I had identified a niche story from primary sources on social media and published an article. As is sometimes the case, the story was seen on Fitzroyalty or on my Twitter, which is followed by a number of Fairfax and News Ltd journalists, and became an Age story, without credit of course. I was partially responsible for his failure becoming national news.
That loser. So the previous caller was that loser. In the months since the news broke that he was not paying artists and not returning their unsold work he evidently hadn’t moved on. He’d spent some time finding out my address. He asked the rhetorical question ‘who’s laughing now?’ and declared he would come and visit me, which was a clear threat to my physical safety.
He called back a few times and each time I hung up. He finally left a message saying he was looking forward to catching up with me for coffee. Like a friend does, except he’s not a friend. I have never met him, never been in his gallery, and don’t know what he looks like. He probably doesn’t know what I look like.
The flippant switch from intimidating (when not recorded) to jovial (when recorded) is a sign of psychopathy to me. He’s a pathetic petty narcissist with the usual inability to acknowledge the consequences of his actions or to take responsibility for his own behaviour.
It is highly unlikely but possible that someone is trying to set him and me up by falsely claiming to be him in order to get him into trouble, but that would be bizarre. I am assuming it is him. To answer his question, I’m laughing now because I have an interim personal safety intervention order from the magistrate at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre in Collingwood.
The police will be serving it on him soon. So if he contacts me again I can call 000 and report him to the police. I suspect that, like Sweaty, Cornish is simply too stupid to realise when he’s losing, and so continues to make his own position worse. Suck it up loser.