A spokesperson for Plymouth City Council said: “We can confirm that Community Protection Notices (CPNs) were served on OPOB News Ltd, Daryl Kennard, Rachel Gibson, and Nicholas Muton, the new Director of OPOB News.
“These CPNs were issued by Plymouth City Council on 4 June after a CPN warning letter was issued but ignored following ongoing complaints from members of the public, police and staff about the content of the OPOB website.
“The CPNs asked to close down the OPOB website, and for them to stop producing, facilitating, publishing and encouraging postings of named individuals and bodies including photographs that are likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress onto any website controlled by OPOB.
“In addition, the CPNs asked OPOB to remove any historic electronic posting, including photographs, from any social media website concerning any named individual from whom they have not had permission to produce, facilitate, publish or encourage any such postings.”
Dee Gibson said he followed the directions given to him, saying there was “no point battling against it.”
He insisted his wife Rachel was not involved in the running of the site, but while he was still a director he had sold the site on.
He revealed that he and his wife were arrested by police around the time of the CPN on suspicion of malicious communication.
He said: “We had eight police round and then down to the police station. Twelve hours later I walked out with a caution. Rachel was NFA’s [no further action].”
Dee believes the reason his news site was targeted was because of his repeated questions and reports about sexual abuse allegations – purportedly involving a council employee – which he felt “had not been properly investigated”.
He said he had “never been sued” and claimed his articles were “true”.
He revealed he was set to appeal against he CPN at Plymouth Magistrates Court on Friday.
He added: “It’s a bit of childishness from the council to be honest and if they don’t like the truth I don’t know what to say.
Nicholas Muton contacted The Herald to state he was not and had never been a director of OPOB News, although he was aiming to buy it.
Speaking from his home in Leicestershire he said: “I cannot understand why Plymouth City Council have wasted council taxpayers money in sending me a threatening letter when I don’t even own this company.”
What is a Community Protection Order?
According to Plymouth CityCouncil’s website, a Community Protection Notice (CPN) which comes under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, is: “intended to address the behaviour of persons aged 16 or over, businesses or organisations where a behaviour or activity is spoiling the community’s quality of life.
“The notice can direct any individual (over the age of 16), business or organisation responsible, to stop causing the behaviour and it could also require the person responsible to take reasonable steps to ensure that it does not occur again.
“Before a CPN is issued/served the recipient must be warned that the behaviour or activity being carried out is not acceptable or must be stopped
“A CPN can be issued if the authority is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the conduct of the individual, business or organisation:
* is having a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality;
* is persistent or continuing in nature; and
* is unreasonable.
“Authorities that can issue a Community Protections Notice are:
* Council officers
* Police officers
* Police community support officers (PCSOs) if designated
* Social landlords (if designated by the council).
“The issuing of a CPN will be decided and monitored through the ASB escalation process.
“If a person fails to comply with the terms of CPN, it is a criminal offence and can be subject to a fixed penalty notice of up to £100, or prosecution in a magistrates court.”
Read more at http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Council-shut-Plymouth-news-website-complaints/story-26908459-detail/story.html#regmtXplX4HcC3qy.99