Outback Apollo 3 burner vaporizer bars

Here we have my Outback Apollo 3 gas burner which I’ve had for 2 years and it’s been a great addition to eating outside, morning, noon and night. Yes, I know I said morning however I do like to cook Sea Bass for breakfast and what a great way to keep the kitchen from smelling of fish all day. If it ‘aint raining then I’m outback cooking. IMG_1591

The problem:

After bringing my BBQ back out for a good clean before use this year, I noticed the vaporizer bars had become very flimsy, very rusty and had started to disintegrate rapidly. No problem, just get online and order some more. Well, you’d think it was that easy but no, It’s hard to find accessories for BBQ’s and even harder if your BBQ isn’t being manufactured anymore and I had a lot of difficulty trying to source some replacement vaporizer bars to get it up and running again. The image below shows the state of the vaporizer bars. There’s two in the image. This Apollo Outback BBQ has 3 gas burners and uses 3 vaporizer bars. Vaporizer bars get so hot that when the fat from food drips onto the plates, they vaporize it instantly and gives off smoke which is then used to flavour the food and they also serve to protect the gas burner bars underneath. Look at how rotted they’ve become…


I did locate 3 replacements but they were nearly £50 for the set and that just didn’t make sense to pay so much for them so I considered making some of my own and after looking around for the correct gauge/thickness of steel I found this was also going to be an expensive option and then I would also still need to have to cut and shape this steel to fit. So I decided to go down a different route and see if anything was on the market that I could use without too much modification. ( The issue I had was to ensure that the actual gas burner bars needed to be covered  during cooking otherwise they would end up getting filthy and end up corroding a lot quicker than they should. I did also consider buying ready made baskets to fit on to put in Lava rocks but this was very costly too. )

The fix:

If you see below, I’ve put in place 3 cake ‘cooling racks’ available in any local superstore like Wilkinsons. These were a good fit and didn’t need cutting down to size. The middle one sits on top of the side racks and locks into place using the already made feet. They can withstand pretty high temperatures and are easy to replace if the need should arise and they’re about a £1 each.




The picture below shows the 3 cake cooling racks in situ and they now form a support for anything to sit on top without having to be the correct size. At the back and front on the BBQ sits a shelf which would normally rest the vaporizer bars to stop them from falling through. These cooling racks just make the job simpler to fit almost anything on top now.


In the image below, you’ll see 2 non-stick oven chip/pizza trays from ‘ASDA Living’ in Newport. I think they were £3 each and are a heavy enough gauge of steel to withstand high temperatures and also protect the gas burner bars themselves. The trays are perforated to allow heat to pass through and are ideal for this purpose. The very fact they are slightly corrugated means that if any fat drips off from the food it won’t just fall through and create it’s own  smoke from the vaporizing effect. NB, They can be used upside down too. ( these ones have been used already )IMG_1597

As can seen below, I’ve placed a pizza/chip tray directly onto the top of the cooling racks. This one is upside down just to show it doesn’t really matter which way up you put them. You may not need these trays, you might need something a little smaller. These were a good size for me. The good thing is, they don’t have to be the correct size anyway because the cooling racks underneath have solved that problem for you.


Both of the trays are now in place ( see below ) and mine fit the BBQ well without the need for any modification. I was going to cut them to shape but decided against it as I felt there was no need. They fit quite snugly as you can see. They have already been well used and shows that these trays are able to withstand high temperatures associated with BBQ cooking.

With the trays in place, I finished off by placing the top cooking racks that came with the BBQ. All in all, a good fix, a quick fix and a cheap fix. IMG_1600

I’ve always looked after my BBQ and would like to think there’s a few more years of cooking life left in the old girl. If those parts I’ve fitted do eventually rot then replacing them will be cheap. I’ve just got to make sure the gas burner bars are clean, protected and the jets underneath don’t get clogged up.


This BBQ was too good to throw away and too expensive to fix properly too. If the time ever comes and I’m unable to keep her alive then I’ll be ripping out the gas burner bars, screwing some steel plate to the back vents and turning this little baby into a charcoal BBQ

It’ll be a long time before the scrap man gets his hands on my outdoor kitchen.

I hope this blog helps.


Have a great day.

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Thankyou and Goodbye.

Thank you and Goodbye

Thanks again Rupert. This was quite useful.

It’s been an incredible four years since joining Twitter. I’ve had a very interesting time to say the least. Fun, laughter, intimidation, harassment, tears, bullying and even threats to have my penis cut off  and shoved down my throat. Yes, a very interesting 4 years.
It was 16th July 2011 when I signed up and now after 4 years I’m pulling the plug on Twitter for good.

At the time of joining, Twitter was the best platform available and gave me the opportunity to voice my concerns over what I thought back then was a media cover-up and still, today, my thoughts are unchanged. There has definitely been a cover-up.

I’ve made contact with many amazing people, in fact, far too many to list. I would like to think you all know who you are and hope you accept my apologies for not directing my ‘goodbye’ personally.


Daniel Morgan was a hero

I would like to extend my goodbyes just that little further to Alastair Morgan. Alastair is my hero, although I rarely see him these days, I still have the utmost respect for everything he’s done to expose the Metropolitan Police and their 5 failed and corrupt police inquiries into the murder of Alastair’s brother, Daniel Morgan, in the car park of the Golden Lion Pub in Sydenham in 1987, where Daniel was about to blow the whistle on serious police corruption. Serious questions need to be asked You can find Alastair on Twitter > @AlastairMorgan Thanks Alastair. Dan would have been my hero too. xx

I cannot extend my thanks enough to everyone else. I wish I could thank everyone personally for their support, their help and their guidance. I’m not the crispiest of cookies in the jar and without the help I’ve received directly from some, I may have ended up in being cared for by Her Majesty’s Prison Service.

Honestly, being prosecuted under the malicious communications act and contempt of court are serious offences and I was close to being guilty of both however a good Samaritan from Twitter came to my aid. Thank you to this person who shall remain anonymous at their request.

Like I said, it’s been a real learning curve to say the least.

Good or evilI love Twitter for what it can do but I hate Twitter too because of what it does.
It festers hate, it spreads malice, it shares laughter and it also makes all smile. I can only describe Twitter as a primary school playground where grown ups hangout with extra pea shooters and skipping ropes at the ready.

I’ve noticed on numerous occasions that I can take the side of the ‘hatred and malice’ gang and find myself joining in and ganging up on those who may or may not deserve it. But it’s not up to me or you to decide the guilt of others even though some of us manage to embroil ourselves into the affairs of others and immerse ourselves even more deeply as time goes by. This is something that I’ve learnt in my 4 years here. I’m guilty of that too.


RIP Jacintha Saldanha

Social media has become the posse and the mob in the market square and in some cases, it’s even been the hangman – Remember the Australian radio reporters pretending to be the Royal family ?

I’m not happy to feel part of this global lynching mob whether the world needs one or not. That’s not me and if you’ve got similar thoughts yourself, perhaps it’s time for you to get out too – while you can.

I used Twitter to share my story that’s all. I got slated for doing so. I did what I had to do though but I feel like I’m paying more of a price the longer I stay on board.

I’ve been called a self publicist and an attention seeker. Well, strangely enough, that’s exactly what I had to be to get noticed. I am guilty of that too. You don’t get anywhere in life unless you blow your own trumpet. It’s even more difficult trying to sell what you have to people if the people who should be listening are the people you’re exposing and embarrassing.

You have to seek attention to get heard and if you’re not getting the message across then you need to give it more and more and more until finally someone stands still and takes notice. Sometimes chipping away at your targets can be the only way. I’m guilty of this.

I’m no whistleblower, but I’ve been named as one. I’m no straw man either. I’m just a normal everyday 47 year old bloke who does everything with passion. I take on something and I give more than anyone can imagine.

New Bond Street bronzes

Fitting back in with the old

Yes, my family know I’m eccentric and they know that I don’t do things in moderation. I do a normal job, I live on normal money and I have a normal life. Well, I did have until the phone hacking scandal turned up on my doorstep one morning and I dipped my toe into the depths of the oceans of Twitter. I must admit, I have a zeal for life, I have a zest for living and I have a passion for getting things done. I am guilty of that.

Please don’t spend your life doing things ‘half arsed’. Get up, get going and smash it into next week. Treat every hurdle in life like you should treat all bullies. Step over them, step on them, knock them down on the floor and walk or jump straight over the top. Life is for living and defeating the enemy.
In life, we make friends and we make enemies. I never knew I could have enemies until I reached out into the twittersphere. Life is far too short to be hated by anyone. Get up every morning and mentally punch the air with your fist and take the day as it comes. You will feel better for it.


“You’re nice”

I don’t hate anyone, I may loath what I know about some people and find it very hard in some cases to forgive what they’ve done but I’m learning how to change.
My loathing of certain people has been shared through my tweets and this may sound strange, I regret much of what I’ve posted and in some cases I’ve deleted tweets.
I remember tweeting a negative message of dislike to Owen Jones, I don’t recall the message but I remember his reply. It read “You’re nice”.

Yep, two words that really hit home but didn’t hit home enough. I also tweeted to Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio2 and accused him of being a troll in the way he marketed his 12 noon Radio 2 show. I was the troll. It seems like I was the one looking for reaction. There again, Twitter is a giant breeding ground for trolls, it’s a nursery for malice and a home for hatred. Negativity on social media smothers positivity everywhere else. I am guilty of this too.

Alan Rusbridger

Former Guardian chief BLOCKED me on Twitter, so much for public interest in the National press.

I’ve even managed to get myself blocked by Alan Rusbridger the former Guardian Chief because I could never understand why he would never listen to my phone hacking story. He probably didn’t see any of my earlier tweets and only the one that said something on the lines of “you’re covering up part of the phone hacking scandal because my story takes it back 3 years earlier” and then thought, I’m not having this, who does this Steven Nott think he is, that’s it, I’m blocking him.


George Galloway has people ‘tweeting’ for him. He’s a busy man.

The same happened with George Galloway. Strangely, I went to London to see his lawyer and was asked to be a witness for his case against Glen Mulcaire and News International. He blocked me. I don’t know why. I only heard last night that George Galloway has people tweeting for him because he’s ‘very busy’. Oh well, that explains it then.

Getting blocked can really feel like a kick in the teeth sometimes especially if you’ve got something to expose and you know full well there are people out their with things to hide.

It seems more and more people are coming out from the woodwork to expose wrongdoing. This is amazing BUT I have noticed that many are getting the cold shoulder from journalism – almost as if social media is becoming saturated with claims of wrong doing increasing dramatically. A typical example of this is Nicholas Wilson aka @nw_nicholas and his almost frantic attempts to be heard as an HSBC whistleblower. More people need to take notice of people like him. See his story here > HSBC corruption


David Sherborne at Leveson inquiry : “Mr Nott was right though Mr Morgan, wasn’t he ?” Piers Morgan “Yes”

Others who have blocked me include a certain former Daily Mirror editor, who actually unblocked me once for this but I didn’t waste time throwing every little shred of evidence I had back at him as you do especially when you have justice seeker blood running through your veins. I threw enough of it back at him to block me for the second time. I always wondered why he actually unblocked me in the first place. I even set up a petition to send him back to America  if he got deported . See what I mean, there might be justice seeking blood running through my veins but there’s also some hatred in there too. Hey, perhaps he was offering me an open handed welcome to change my ways….who knows. I don’t think I’ve made a friend here. It’s a shame because I would to have the opportunity to meet up with this man, share a pint with him and make my own judgement by what I see and feel rather than just what I read and hear. If anyone is willing to ask him for me then please do. I promise I wouldn’t punch him like Clarkson did.

My negative opinions of the press have strengthened. They are the most powerful force in the UK and control our Government. They protect, they expose, they ignore. They do what they want, to who they want and when they want. They are not there for you an I.

My opinions on the regional press have changed too. They are truthful in their stories, they have amazing reporters and if anyone wants to try a career in journalism, I would like to think they would make their regional newspapers top of their goals to strive to and forget beyond that where the tabloids and National newspapers takeover. The truth is in journalism but tends to fade away when the red tops are involved. Just my opinion.


“I didn’t know phone hacking was illegal”

On a more positive note, my opinion on individual journalists has changed. I understand the need to expose, I understand the need to break a world exclusive and I respect their work massively. I just still find it a teeny weeny problem trying to comprehend how an investigative journalist has permission to break the law to expose wrongdoing. It goes against all I’m about.
For example, David Leigh, a Guardian journalist admitted he ‘once’ used phone hacking to expose a secret arms deal. When he exposed this information to the Leveson Inquiry everyone seem to think that it was ok.  I never thought so and still find it incredibly hard to believe he only used phone hacking once either. However, I spoke very briefly to David Leigh while sat in the court room and he seemed genuinely a nice man. How can anyone in an industry run by strict rules and codes of practice NOT KNOW that phone hacking was illegal ? ( bearing in mind now that we all know it was endemic throughout the whole of Fleet Street ). *innocent face*

Which, then brings me back to ME and what I think. It’s not up to me to decide the innocence or guilt of others but I’m still guilty of doing it. It’s not up to me to spread malicious gossip or boost the growth in hatred across social media platforms but I’m still guilty of it. It is up to me to show some respect for others and still after 4 years, I’m finding that task very difficult EVEN NOW which is why I’m better off away from it all.  ( ie see comment above *innocent face* ). I am guilty yet again.

I would stay on Twitter if I knew I could behave myself and stay professional at all times but I can’t trust myself to be like this 100% of the time and neither can many others but I’m about to make that change and learn from it. I don’t want to be part of any mob.


You’re not doing yourself any favours

I follow Louise Mensch, I’ve chatted to her on Twitter through Direct Messaging, I see her tweets BUT everything she does on social media has a tendency to wind me up. Is it because of the way she conducts herself or is it because I’ve developed yet another loathing – all because she writes a column in a newspaper hated by many others ? Ok, so she’s a bit like Katie Hopkins’ Twitter double but she uses her account as a tool. Louise may have an agenda but she acts like ‘a tool’ in the way she portrays herself publicly. Hey, who knows, maybe one day, she may realise she’s flogging her own dead horse. Which then takes me back to what I’ve been saying all along. I shouldn’t be here making judgement on others either. I’m doing this even now in a blog. I don’t have any authority to do so. Yet again, I’m guilty. See where I’m going with this….Sorry Louise.

So, my apologies to everyone on Twitter, I have upset, I have insulted, to anyone I’ve caused distress, I have falsely accused of criminality and to anyone I’ve called a liar. I truly am sorry. I am guilty.

I look at my Twitter account and it’s taken me 4 years to mould it into what I wanted others to see. I’m guilty of that. I’ve made it look like I have prominence. I’ve unfollowed many on numerous occasions mainly to keep my timeline clearer and easier to find info but I also admit it looks like I’m part of society that has ‘importance’. It’s a very odd feeling knowing that many famous people know me and never even met them. I just feel that I may be guilty of milking my position slightly to strengthen my following of this ‘self publicist style’ prominence even further. Yes, it’s been nice being ‘nearly famous’ while it lasted. But Twitter has turned me into a fake person. I am guilty of this too.

I even sent a Twitter DM through to David Walliams once asking him if there was anyway I could buy tickets to the Britain’s Got Talent final.

David Walliams Promotes His Book "Mr Stink" At Bluewater Shopping Centre In Kent. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

Yes Mr Nott, you are the real MR STINK !!

Yes, exactly, I was trying to use MY connections to get something for ME. Proof that I’m indeed selfish too. Proof that if you get yourself in a position you can use it to your advantage. I’m truly ashamed. I knew I shouldn’t have asked but I still went ahead. Apologies to David Walliams for my inexcusable behaviour. Guilty again.

I’ve learnt a lot about myself over the past 4 years. I don’t like what I’ve become.
I’ve tried it. I don’t like it. It’s not me. I want the old me back. My old life wasn’t full of guilt like this.

I’ve just quickly read through this and thought here I go again, I’ve gone off one, rambling about this and going on about that and I could carry on typing all day because everything I do, I seem to do with a great deal of ‘detail’ and ‘passion’ and if I didn’t stop I’d probably end up writing this for the next 20 years.

I want my simple life back and I’m leaving Twitter today, for good, hopefully this will help me return to normality and get back to the real world. There is one out there I promise you. I’m from the real world. Come and join me if you fancy an escape.

I’m not going to delete my Twitter account. It is a record of my time on Twitter. It’s a place full of links and useful information. It also points to my story and that’s something I will never forget. It also has many famous people following me and I like to think I’m still ‘mixing with the celebs’ even though I now know I’m not. I can’t just throw all that away, Can I ?

Yes, I’m a hypocrite too. In fact I’m a fake guilty hypocrite but at least I know myself more now than ever. I’ve even managed to ‘boost’ up my own farewell blog with pictures of celebrities. You’ve got to laugh though.

Anyway, I hope you understand.

Goodbye and thank you to everyone for being there WITH me, FOR me and now ….AFTER me.

Best wishes

Steven Nott

For more info on my story exposing the Daily Mirror and Sun – revealing how a massive public interest story comes to them in the Summer of 1999 exposing a serious threat to national security BUT they BOTH FAIL to tell their readers. Here is > the blog I set up because the press didn’t want to know

Keep smiling Tweeps

Phone hacking claims

Proof that some things in life should come to an end


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Correction : The weekend of 26th June 1999 was when I contacted the Mirror offices about phone hacking.

It’s taken me some time to work out exactly when I contacted the Mirror to expose the Vodafone phone hacking loophole and when I knew I had to get the dates right before I blogged about them in my WEBSITE and also in preparation for my witness testimony at the Leveson Inquiry, I had to make sure I wasn’t wrong, but it now seems I was.

You see, I knew I contacted Oonagh Blackman at the Mirror offices a day or two after I watch a rugby match at the Millenium stadium in Cardiff. Trying to work out which match I went to see was a lot harder than I imagined but after much confusion I opted for the 28th August 1999 when Wales had played France and believed that to be the correct weekend however, after contacting the WRU yesterday and discussing the history of the matches I realised my dates were out by 2 months.

Now bearing in mind, trying to remember so much detail about something that happened 12 years ago ( years based upon my collating info in 2011 ) it wasn’t easy and I wasn’t going to be spot on but thought I was right with the 28th August 1999.

After yesterday’s conversation with P. Owens at WRU at the Millenium stadium, I now know that the date I spoke to Oonagh Blackman at the Mirror was the weekend of 26th June 1999.

Wales played South Africa at the Millenium stadium on the 26th June 1999 and I was there with some guests as we shared a corporate box with a recruitment company so had the luxury of being wined and dined throughout the match. List of Wales matches

It was a ‘friendly’ and the reason why I had the tickets because my bosses didn’t want to bother going so ‘dished’ them out to a few of the sales team.

If it had been an important match, we wouldn’t have got a ‘look-in’. The bosses would have been lording it up as they always did. I’ll blog about that one day, talk about splashing money about, they spent £8,00o in just one night – and there were only 5 of us ! That wasn’t uncommon either.

I have a lot more detail about what happened that day but I know for certain that the day after ( which was Sunday 27th June 1999 ) or the day after that ( Monday 28th June 1999 ) was when I contacted the Mirror.

Strangely, to put into even more detail, I think if I remember rightly, I took the bull before the horns, fuelled up with alcohol from the night before, contacted the Mirror offices, even though it was a Sunday, knowing that they had a Sunday Mirror, might be open and taking calls for stories I spoke to a reporter called Oonagh Blackman and explained what I had discovered. I remember writing her name on the top of a Sunday Mirror after asking her to spell it out because ‘Oonagh’ wasn’t a run of the mill name, not for me anyway.

The night before I was in discussion with some of my customers from Bako Wales ( Welsh Bakers Ltd, Gorseinon ) in the Marriot hotel in Cardiff city centre about the serious implications about the loophole in Vodafone’s security. I had demonstrated how to hack into mobiles and created quite a conversation, especially over a few wines. I had been demonstrating how to hack into mobiles to people for some months by then after discovering it.

Looking back now, I estimate that I came across Vodafone’s lack of security in about April 1999. I didn’t realise the serious implications there were at the time and spent a lot of my time messing about and playing practical jokes on people including my bosses.

I quite often hacked into friends, family and colleagues mobile phones, changed their PIN and added a funny welcome greeting for all to hear. I left a welcome greeting on my Sales Manager’s phone saying “Hi, this is Bob’s massage parlour, I’m not in right now but leave me a message and I’ll get back to you” and he took ages to realise his phone’s voicemail system had been hacked.

My bosses often called me and told me to stop hacking into their phones and changing their personal welcome messages. There’s a prankster in everyone you know.

After contacting Blackman at the Mirror, it was approx two weeks before they ‘blew me off’  and I accused Blackman and the Daily Mirror of keeping the story for themselves to glean scoops and exclusives. Weeks and weeks went by before I received a cheque in the post which coincides with the dates on the remittance advice note dated. See below MGN receipt

So the dates of my testimony aren’t quite correct now. All I can say is I am now 99% certain it was the weekend of the 26th June 1999 when I contacted the Mirror.

It all then escalated from there, I was on a mission to put things I’d done wrong, right. I didn’t want to be held responsible for letting the newspapers know how to hack into voicemails for free and became it a daily task to make sure everyone knew and to see how far I took it take a look at this here where I went just too far trying to expose the what I had done wrong.

In my opinion, it got out of control and to this day, I still don’t know when it all started but the more I hear the more I’m convinced the campaign that I ran to expose who knew probably made it a worse and helped it to spread like wildfire throughout the industry.

Not that any of this info posted here today has any impact on anything relevant anymore. The ongoing Mirror trial hasn’t included me as a witness and Operation Golding, the Met’s Mirror Group phone hacking police haven’t been in touch for a detailed statement. Alan Rusbridger continues to block me on Twitter. My story isn’t as important as I thought but I did get acknowledgement from Nick Davies at The Guardian writing in a copy of his book ‘Hack Attack’ – To Steven Nott “the first man to try and stop the hackup” – there is that I suppose.

So it’s back to normality for me then, campaign over, trying to refrain from comment on Twitter because it’s not getting me anywhere anyway.

I will update this blog soon and give it a little tidy up. I posted it in a rush as I always do.

Thanks for reading

Steven Nott


PS Just in case you missed this > 

It shows Piers Morgan being questioned on the 20th December 2011 by the current phone hacking lawyer David Sherborne all about my evidence and my witness testimony.

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MP Paul Murphy reply on Leveson Inquiry part 2

Dear Mr Nott,

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry, which is scheduled to take place after all criminal proceedings relating to phone hacking and bribery have been concluded.

The Leveson Inquiry has always had my full support and that includes Part 2. As you say, the second part of the Inquiry is crucial in order to get to the root of the relationship between the press and the police, and to discover who was responsible for the failure over a number of years to investigate appalling and unlawful behaviour at some British newspapers. It must do all of the things that could not be done during Part 1, whilst prosecutions were pending.

Whilst both I and my party are absolutely committed to Part 2 taking place, at present it is difficult to say when this is likely to be. In the letter to the Prime Minister which prefaces Lord Justice Leveson’s report on Part 1 he said he was, “quite unable to say when it might be possible even to consider Part 2, let alone to decide how much more needs to be known about the subject matter which forms its basis”. I am afraid at present this is still the case, as court cases and the appeals process are likely to go on for some time.

Nonetheless, whatever the time frame, Leveson 2 must take place. Not only to answer the questions which still remain, but also to send a message to every victim and to all of the parties who let phone hacking go on that such behaviour is utterly unacceptable and will never be allowed to happen again.

Thank you again for contacting me about this issue. If I can be of assistance with any other matter please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Murphy MP


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Cwmbran Marks and Spencer trialing WITHOUT a security guard for 12 weeks ! What do you think ?


I was standing in the queue with my mother waiting to pay for some items and overheard a loud panicky voice behind me saying “Has anyone seen a Per-Una grey and black fleece jacket?” and then the voice, even louder this time, shouted out “Has anyone seen a Per-Una grey and black fleece jacket?”. I turned around and noticed a member of staff in a state of controlled panic and waving a black coat hanger, waiting for a reply from any members of staff at the ‘Pay here at the tills’ counter.

I quickly responded to her calls for answers and said “We’ve just put one back on the shelf over there if that’s what you’re looking for”, pointing her towards the direction of where my mother left the coat that she tried on.

She looked at me, with her lonely coat hanger and asked me to show her where I meant.

I took her over to the aisle where we left the coat and showed her the coat. She was relieved it was the one she was looking for.

What had happened, my mother was trying on coats and she was going to buy this coat so was carrying it around the store looking for other coats on another section. After trying on many coats and shuffling coat hangers around my mother decided what she wanted and returned this ‘grey and black fleece jacket’ back to the aisle where it was found but it was on a different hanger. The hanger for this coat was then left on another hook around the corner with nothing on it. A hanger is just a hanger.

Ok no problem, panic over. The staff member had spotted the empty coat hanger and thought that the coat had been removed and stolen from the store. Easy mistake to make but very ‘on the ball’ for any member of staff don’t you think ? She recognized the style of coat hanger and the fact it was in the wrong place.

I mentioned this to the staff member and remarked on how observant she was. It’s not very often you find a member of staff with such loyalty to their employer. At the end of the day, it’s up to the security guards to make sure this sort of thing doesn’t go on….isn’t it ?

Well, that’s where I was startled to find out that Marks and Spencer in Cwmbran have no security anymore. Get this – they’re now trialing store security WITHOUT a security guard and relying on all members of staff to prevent tackle the problem of shoplifting. This is for the next 12 weeks. The staff member told me this and said they were already seeing coat hangers in wrong places, price tags and plastic security loops strewn under clothes rails etc. 

The pressure put on Marks and Spencer staff members to ensure theft prevention within the store is obviously showing and with the run up to Christmas coming the store is going to be a shoplifters delight and staff are going to be running around like headless chickens. If one coat hanger causes a panic what will it be like at Christmas ?. I dread to think.

Ok, so it’s perhaps not a good idea to make this publicly known. The very fact that Marks and Spencer has no security is going to be a problem if the word gets out. Well, you heard it here first. the WORD is OUT !!

Marks and Spencer should not put the pressure of store security on their staff who already have enough to do. I’ve worked in the retail industry for years and know how difficult the job is without adding any extra problems to your role. 

Prices are always based upon profit margins and cover the costs of many things and theft is included in this cost make-up too and we, as customers, contribute to providing the money to needed to prevent shoplifting etc. So the more things stolen the more the percentage of cost in mark-up gets added onto the customers overall buying price…and this is not fair.

The best way to tackle this and to reduce the cost of your products from being increased is to spread the word. I know it might seem a little petty but staff should NEVER be put on to provide store security. That’s what Security Guards are for. 

It’s obvious it’s just a way of saving extra money but a bit unfair don’t you think?

If you think your local Marks and Spencers store should have a security guard then please share this to anyone you know.

At the moment, I can only verify this is just the Cwmbran store but if this trial works then they’ll no doubt roll it out to other stores.

Also, if you fancy a bit of shoplifting and without fear of being chased by a security guard, why not visit the Cwmbran store….

I’m going to link this blog to Marks and Spencer’s twitter account now and use the hashtag #MarksAndSpencerNeedsASecurityGuard and hope the manager at their Cwmbran store re-instates one very soon. After all, if the word gets out, shoplifters will be heading straight for their doors. And why not, nobody cares anymore anyway….

Please help spread the word and get Cwmbran’s Marks and Spencer staff a security guard because they might just need one now…..ssshhhh……..don’t tell anyone ok









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I will always publish threatening and intimidating emails for all to see

As promised and against the ‘wishes’ of Dennis Rice, here are the the emails he has sent threatening me of legal action. I hate bullies and will always expose them whenever I can. If anyone wants to communicate with me then it will be in the public domain and not hiding behind fake legal threats.


1st email received 2nd August 2014 
Confidential – Not For Publication (or damages for a breach of the condition will be sought)
Dear Mr Nott,
Please consider this email as a 48 hour legal warning that your name is being included in a list of individuals who have repeated and spread defamatory material in blogs authored by a Mr Richard Bartholomew in which I am labelled as “corrupt” and a “malignant tumour in British journalism.” This list is being passed by my trade union to libel lawyers to act in this matter on a “no win, no fee” basis. Should you wish to remove yourself from these proceedings – which I am advised are undefendable – I shall require an apology in writing and your immediate removal of your defamatory re tweets and comments before Monday morning.
Yours sincerely,
Dennis Rice 

I then posted a tweet on Twitter
and then another…
https://twitter.com/StevenNott/status/496191431544143872and then I received this email not long after


 2nd email received today 4th August 2014
Strictly Private and Confidential – Not For Publication.
Dear Mr Nott, my libel lawyers are Carter Ruck. Since you have not only continued to re post defamatory smears about me, but added some of your own, I will be taking proceedings against you. When you lose – and you will lose – the costs and damages will be met by you either out of any funds you have or a charge on your property.
Part of the defamation suit will include tweets you posted about the Hacking Trial which were in Contempt of Court. I have them all. Let me again repeat that re tweeting a libel is libel (as many found with Lord McAlpine) and when a legal warning is marked as Confidential and Not For Publication then published in breach of this damages are also awarded.
Would you like the legal correspondence sent to your home address, or do you have a solicitor who can represent you. Defending this incidentally is going to cost you an awful lot of money, which is precisely why I tried to warn you off continuing this I will take no pleasure from this but you created this situation.
Yours sincerely,
Dennis Rice
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I can’t keep this quiet any longer….

What has Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson have to do with the phone hacking scandal ? Read on and you’ll see the secret I’ve been keeping to myself for years. It may not be relevant but it’s not up to me to decide.

Chipping Norton 'drinking buddies'

Just good friends ? Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks.

During the summer of 1999, I discovered the issue of phone hacking and decided upon myself to go on a one man crusade to expose the problem to the public because, Vodafone, the mobile network wouldn’t do anything about it and make their voicemail system secure. In fact they blitherly left it insecure for years which, in my opinion, has lead to the Leveson inquiry and the phone-hacking trial which is currently ongoing at the Old Bailey.

Artsists impression : Defendants at the phone hacking trial

Defendants at the phone hacking trial

I was on a mission to make sure everyone knew about the weak security the mobile phone networks and took my story of national importance to two of the top tabloids.

The Daily Mirror and The Sun newspapers both knew that phone hacking was possible and they both also knew it was an easy way to glean info from high profiled people to use for extortion and front page exclusives. I’m not saying that they did, because I don’t have the proof but we are talking about an industry that would do anything for a scoop. To read more http://www.hackergate.co.uk

Now, what annoys me is the fact they so many people at the time were extremely interested in this but all of a sudden everyone seem to change tack and didn’t go to print or investigate further. I’ll leave this to your imagination and perhaps you can work out why.

During my crusade to expose the loophole in Vodafone’s voicemail security I thought I inadvertently informed the newspapers how to hack phones. Believe me, it’s a real big worry to take on board. I lived with that worry for years and only up until 2011 and giving evidence at the Leveson Inquiry I realised they must have already known which is why some people like Piers Morgan called me ‘barking’ and ‘psychotic’ during his testimony at Leveson here

During my, what some call, an ‘obsession’ to expose who knew what, when and where, I also contacted MI5, the Home Office, my MP Paul Murphy, HM Customs and Excise and various other bodies as I was hell bent on getting this information out to the public.

I even contacted all of the Scottish newspapers, when working up around Scotland and made sure they knew about phone hacking. I also wrote no end of letters addressed to CEO’s of many companies around the UK. I must have sent 300 letters in total. The Yellow pages, Directory inquiries and Vodafone’s Scoot service were my main sources of info as I didn’t have access to any internet – er it wasn’t exactly easy to use in those early years either…. 56k dial up remember ?

Returning to the story…

I admit I was on a mission and was like a dog with a bone, I wasn’t going to let go, especially now thinking I’d inadvertently shown the newspapers how to hack phones. I was on a double mission now to undo my mistakes and make sure if the press knew about phone hacking then everyone else was going to as well. This was now my problem and I had to fix it.

I contacted David Ford ( you probably won’t know him ) http://www.gbmssg.co.uk/management-team who was CEO of Gardner Merchant at the time and the company I was working often invited him to our corporate box at the Millenium stadium in Cardiff, and like I said, because I was on a mission to tell everyone I even told him and made a point of explaining how such a weak voicemail system could lead to serious industrial espionage and just wanted to make sure he knew. I have to admit, my boss, Kent Davis wasn’t best pleased when he found out that I’d been ringing around his companies’ best customers but I did and that’s the sort of campaign I was on. Mr Ford was grateful but thinking back, he probably thought ‘who is the wacko’ ? In fact, recalling back, the night before I called him, he did appear on a BBC tv show which I think was called ‘BACK TO THE FLOOR’ and featured Mr Ford working at Ascot racecourse and serving drinks to the guests and laying up tables etc, this was probably my inspiration to contact him.

So, as you can see, I was making sure I ‘put my wrongs’ right and unfortunately, to many people, made me out to be obsessive. All, I can tell you is, the guilty will always try to ruin your credibility with a few harsh words about your sanity because they have the publicity to do it, us whistle-blowers have only ourselves to trust and have to keep battling whatever is thrown at us, and no matter how bruised we get, we will still keep getting back up and throwing the truth back out there for everyone to see. I just make sure when I do something, I’m thorough and didn’t give up until I’ve finished. Having a zeal to complete a task is how I’m wired.

I eventually suffered a breakdown from over work, under sleeping, over drinking and over doing it on my ‘one man’ campaign to expose who knew what about phone hacking.

Here’s my doctors notes from early 2000 ( click to enlarge )


Click to enlarge

Ok, so the title of this blog is about a secret I cannot keep to myself anymore. I can’t do secrets, I hate the stress from with-holding information and feel no it’s the right time to tell. Life is stressful enough without having to worry about this as well so here goes…

During my campaign to expose Vodafone and the tabloid newspapers I was still working as an Area Sales Manager for a food company based in South Wales, however, I was now on the sick for depression and wasn’t able to work, and for that matter wasn’t thinking straight either and was perhaps resorting to even more odd ways of ‘still trying’ to get this story exposed.

I used to spend hours and countless £1 coins in a phone box ringing random mobile numbers, accessing their voicemail, changing their security PIN and also adding a new personal greeting for their callers to hear. It would have sounded like this ” Hi, I’m afraid this mobile phone has had it’s recall service ‘hacked into’ and the owner needs to inform it’s network operator”.

Interestingly, the Mail on Sunday published this story in May 2000 and Vodafone quoted that some of their customers had complained their voicemail greetings had been tampered with..


Not only was I writing hundreds of letters, hacking random mobile phones, changing their security settings and calling CEO’s from our customer database, I also did something else which is something I’ve not told anyone.

I used to watch Top Gear and idolised Jeremy Clarkson back then as it was a programme I regularly watched on a Thursday evening from inside my hotel during my years of sales and travelling.

I really did think Jeremy Clarkson was the business. He was smart, he was open, he was frank and he was honest, so who best to get in touch with ?……you guessed it, Mr Jeremy Clarkson himself. If anyone could help me expose this threat to national security then Jezza was the best man ‘In the Wooorld’ to ask for help…or was he ?

However, I had very little way of contacting him ( thank heaven for Twitter now ) so I decided upon myself to write a letter addressed “FAO – Jeremy Clarkson, Private and Confidential, BBC Top Gear ( the address always seen at the end of the show ) and post it to him. I didn’t get a reply, but I didn’t stop there. I continued to write letter after letter in the faint hope he might just open it himself and read the contents. I’m not sure but, I perhaps, wrote 6 maybe 8 times, I just don’t know. What I do know is, the content of the letter would have explained the problem I had trying to expose the Vodafone loophole, the fact that I’d inadvertently told the tabloids how to hack phones, and how, with his, prominent public head and frank open-ness, be the answer to my problem and could help me get this story out to the masses

I never received a reply, from Mr Clarkson or the BBC for that matter but I do sit here and wonder sometimes.

How long has he known Rebekah Brooks and her husband ?

How did he get a column in the Sun newspaper ?

What is his problem with Piers Morgan ?

I consulted a few people recently about this information and how I should go about telling someone but I have a problem with who I tell and who do they know, which is why I’ve written this blog.

Now, don’t go pointing fingers at Jeremy Clarkson and telling him he’s known about phone hacking for 14 years because he may not have read any of the letters I’d sent him, on the other hand, if he had read one of the letters…..well, I can leave that to your imagination again. The chances of him reading those letters are the same chances of him NOT reading those letters but this story needed to be told.

I wanted to tell the detectives from Operation Weeting but during my interview, I was asked if I was wanted to be remembered as the person who started the whole phone hacking scandal and felt, at the time, that pressure was being out on me ‘not too talk too much’ hence my reluctance to go into too much detail with them. Anyway, at the time, I couldn’t remember everything and things only started to knit themselves together properly after discovering those documents I stashed in the attic eg, this remittance advice note dated 1999 for a story that never got published by the Daily Mirror called ‘Mobile Phone Scandal’ and the newspaper article from the South Wales Argus from October 1999.


Click to enlarge

This another document I found in my attic. It contains a small list of mobile phone numbers that I, myself targetted, hacked into, changed the security PIN and voicemail greeting. I know it’s a long shot but imagine even after all these years, one of these numbers has the same PIN I put in. Ok a long shot I know, and it would be illegal to ring them and attempt to hack into it now, so I’m not going to try. I did mention it to a journalist some time ago and told me “It was illegal to do so”.


Click to enlarge

I called hundreds and hundreds of random mobile numbers during this time and remember listenening to many voicemails including messages of interest and these were phone numbers of ordinary people and not those that were rich and famous. No wonder the press found phone hacking a lucrative scam, free news, no come backs and enough info from voicemail to use to extort more info for a scoop. I never kept records of all my phone hacking because I did too much to keep track.

The main reason I’ve come forward with this is because Jeremy Clarkson quite recently appeared in the public gallery at the Old Bailey to support Charlie Brooks, his friend and husband of Rebekah Brooks and I didn’t really know how close they all were together.

Is it just coincidence ? I don’t know. But better out in the public domain than being stuffed in a bin bag and left under the stairs at the Met. Know what I’m saying….

I have to admit, Piers Morgan was right, I was obsessed with my campaign but like anyone on a mission, you have to go further than everyone else if you want to make something happen. In reality I didn’t go far enough which is why after 15 years I’m still ‘harping’ on about the damn scandal.

So there you have it. More cards are on the table. I don’t like keeping secrets. Life is too short.

In the mean time, I’m disappearing back to my normal life and thought just, before I did, was best to come clean with this extra info and make sure I wasn’t keeping anything from anyone.

Thanks for reading.

Follow me on twitter @StevenNott

Caught up in the Phone Hacking Scandal

I’m not really that grumpy looking


My witness statement to the Leveson inquiry http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20140122145147/http:/www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Witness-Statement-of-Steven-Nott.pdf

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