Publisher of Q News Ray Mackereth has told a court that a Fair Work claim seeking compensation of nearly $40,000 plus fines brought by his former manager to recover unpaid entitlements caused him “distress” and that he is the target of an “extended campaign of harassment”.
In a sworn statement filed with the Federal Circuit Court, Mr Mackereth sought permission to file court ordered documents late after his missed the deadline by a full week.
His doctor wrote to the court saying his patient was “totally incapacitated emotionally and physically” after being served the claim by Brenton Larcombe.
Yet just days before the documents were due to be filed, the failed sex club identity was, according to sources, seen seeming to enjoy himself at the Sportsman Hotel for the annual Sporties Bake Off which was heavily marketed by his publication.
Even Mr Mackereth’s own statement says he was not totally incapacitated, where under oath he said he was not “fully capable” of attending to the matter.
Also when “totally incapacitated” on 30 July this year, when he was too sick to obey a court order, but well enough to go to the pub, Mr Mackereth’s name appeared in a Q News by-line suggesting he was hard at work promoting a cause near and dear to his heart, writing: SUICIDE STUDY ALMOST COMPLETE – Now seeking ordinary LGBTI people to complete it!
Mr Mackereth named Mr Larcombe’s partner Deeje Hancock and industrial relations consultant & journalist Miles Heffernan as key campaigners against him, which he referred to as a “vendetta”.
Mr Mackereth also blamed this very website, Raymackereth.com for “exacerbating” his mental stress, although at no stage in court documents has the Mackereth camp suggested anything published on the site was inaccurate. Mr Mackereth did refer to the factual stories as being “disparaging” indicating he believes accurately reporting on his behaviour denigrates him.
Both Mr Hancock and Mr Heffernan reject that there is a campaign against Mr Mackereth. Neither had sympathy for the plight of the publisher who remains living in a mansion in Paddington.
Mr Hancock said “I expect this trial would cause (Mr Mackereth) some distress, just as having my partner’s retirement funds and basic entitlements misappropriated from him by someone he trusted caused distress.
“I expect when he reads pages and pages of allegations about how he ran a good business into the ground and then spent Brenton’s money to keep the taxman from chasing him personally, that would be distressing. But is there a campaign? No.
“If Mackereth just took some personal responsibility and made good on his debts, then he could disappear into irrelevance. But instead the Q News controller rather wants to falsely paint himself as a community do-gooder,” Mr Hancock added.
Mr Heffernan said he was “delighted” that Mr Mackereth “wrongly thinks that there is a campaign” adding “what a con job that Mackereth somehow thinks he is the victim here, all from someone in the business of media complaining about media coverage, oh please, let me wipe my tears away for how hard Ray Mackereth is doing it.”
Mr Heffernan also suggested the road ahead is likely to bring more stress for Mr Mackereth.”I expect it was all cold sweats last night when the trial judge’s words sank in. Judge Burnett said the answer lies in the books and gave Brenton the right to subpoena the liquidators and for them to give evidence about Mr Mackereth’s corporate behaviour at the helm of Klub Kruise in the trial. I have seen these books. If I was Mackereth, I would have anxiety and lots of it. No two-ways about it. And it would be the skin-crawling kind,” he said.
Mr Heffernan said he was “honoured” to be part of any cohort that was built around supporting your mates. “It is sad, no pathetic actually, that Mackereth thinks advocating for the rights of a good mate he ripped off is a hate-campaign against him, as it suggests no legitimacy to the claims.
“What is going on is a thing called friendship where you roll up your sleaves and help out, wherever you can and ask nothing in return. Something foreign for Mackereth, despite his self-promotion as a community champion.
“Mackereth is right about one thing – the date of August 2012 – as this is when the full force of his cruelty was felt by Brenton, who is still waiting for an apology and his money,” Mr Heffernan added.
Despite Mr Mackereth acknowledging that Mr Larcombe has never been paid any of his long service leave and payment in lieu of notice and only some annual leave and superannuation earned from over 10 years of service at Klub Kruise, he is refusing to pay this, forcing Mr Larcombe into a lengthy court battle that won’t be heard until 17 August 2015.
Mr Larcombe declined to comment other than to say “I am looking forward to my day in court and I will not comment on the process and will leave the judgement to speak for itself.”
For the record, Raymackereth.com stands by the reporting of Ray Mackereth’s unique sense of community as being entirely accurate. Despite running for over a year and seeking submissions from anyone to tell of Mr Mackereth’s good work, no one has come forward. Mr Mackereth has never approached us to complain about any story’s accuracy. He is welcome to a right of reply should he wish. Email us. Maybe?