Steven Nott, the man who tried to alert the national press to the ease with which voicemails on mobile phones could be hacked, has hit back at Piers Morgan who described him as "barking" at the Leveson Inquiry yesterday.
Nott said he is taking legal advice about "defamatory" comments by Morgan who also described him at the inquiry as "one sandwich short of a picnic."
Nott contacted the national press, including the Daily Mirror when Piers Morgan was editor, in 1998 about the way mobiles could be easily hacked but could not interest the newspapers in the story.
He later wrote on his Hackergate website: "It didn't take me long to realise 'What had I done ?' I couldn't believe I was so stupid to tell a National newspaper how to get hot news for free just by hacking into someones phone". The story was picked up by the local press and published by the South Wales Argus.
Nott says Morgan: "Made some very defamatory remarks towards me and thinks because he's above the law, he can do what he wants, when he wants and to whom he wants.
"I am just a member of the general public, who should not be vulnerable to such attacks by the likes of Mega celebs are who careless with their choice of words. I am seeking legal advice.
"Whether he was Phone Hacking or not, that's his problem. I only submitted my evidence to Lord justice Leveson as I felt it was important that everyone knew. It was important enough for Operation Weeting to interview me for 3 hours in July of this year.
"Whether people treat it as mere coincidence or something more sinister, that's up to them. Lord Justice Leveson will decide on all of the evidence submitted by everyone what the outcome will be and what may happen to the freedom of the press. With defamatory comments from former editors like Piers Morgan insulting a member of the public, doesn't bode well for the press not to be regulated."
He has also posted a message to Morgan on Hackergate: "Mr Piers Morgan said he looked at this website in a lot of detail and studied it well. Maybe, there's some chance he may come back here to read this.
Piers Morgan, you will no doubt be feeling quite happy with yourself that you 'slated' a member of the general public yesterday in front of your global fan club. That's a BIG WIN for you then Piers. I hope you feel proud of yourself. Thankyou so much for calling me 'barking' and 'psychotically obsessed'. A 'sandwich short of a picnic'. Your true colours are showing. Opening your mouth and insulting me yesterday has done you far more harm than you think. You had no right to behave in such a manner. To reiterate, I am seeking legal advice and NOT mental advice.
Guardian journalist James Ball tweets that Morgan's comments at the Leveson Inquiry are covered by absolute privilege.
Political blogger Guido Fawkes has published a letter sent to him by the Leveson Inquiry asking a number of questions. Guido says his response will be “you have no chance of trying to regulate the worldwide web.”
- Pic: Piers Morgan at the Leveson Inquiry