AN “INVESTIGATIVE journalist” who likened himself to Sherlock Holmes accused a dad of abusing his own children in a satanic ritual.

But the blogger, who claimed to have links to a shadowy world of secret agents and military contractors, was cleared of stalking the man.

Prosecutors claimed Royal Wootton Bassett blogger Richard Carvath had stalked the dad-of-two for more than a year, writing defamatory posts about him online, secretly photographing him and his family, going to his house and penning a highly-inflammatory letter to police setting out what he claimed was evidence of the man’s wrongdoing.

Carvath, 43, of Marlborough Road, Wootton Bassett, denied writing some of the blog articles and tweets – claiming the blog was run along a secret service-style cell structure, that some of the posts were written by others but that he had no idea who his co-authors were.

The blogger admitted following his victim and his family members. But he claimed he had a reasonable excuse for doing so: the prevention and detection of crime.

After a five day trial at Swindon Crown Court, jurors took little more than three hours to clear Carvath of the single stalking charge.

The allegations related to a Midlands family court case, full details of which cannot be reported due to an injunction banning the identification of those involved.

In 2014 and 2015, the dad was arrested by police after sexual abuse accusations were levelled against him by his two boys. The children had been coached by their mum into making the false claims.

The dad launched family court proceedings to try and win custody of the two children. In March 2017, the mum absconded with the boys prompting a 10-day manhunt. The children later went to live with their dad in the south of England, having to move after an associate of the mum burned down their home in late 2017.

Carvath claimed he had never met either the mum or the dad. The first he knew about the case was a tip from a friend, named by Carvath only as Source A, when the children were abducted.

He said he had been with Source A, a colleague in the private military contracting world, in a central London bar when the mystery man gave him evidence that the father of two boys who had just been abducted by their mother was a paedophile.

It was claimed the boys’ dad – involved in the import and export trade – was a satanist and involved in human trafficking and drugs supply.

Carvath was to repeat these claims from memory in his January 2019 letter to Devon and Cornwall Police.

The blogger made several trips to the complainant’s hometown, taking pictures of family members. In early January 2019 he sneaked into the man’s garden in the early hours, looked through a window and claimed to see the semi-naked man molesting his son.

Three weeks later, Carvath addressed a lengthy letter to the chief constable of Devon and Cornwall Police cataloguing his concerns about the complainant – then living in the south west.

In March 2019, Carvath had been due to give evidence in family court proceedings related to the case when he was arrested. It was after a cache of images of the man and his family members were sent to the mum’s solicitor from Carvath’s email address. Carvath denied sending the message.

In March 2019, Carvath had been due to give evidence in family court proceedings related to the case when he was arrested. It was after a cache of images of the man and his family members were sent to the mum’s solicitor from Carvath’s email address. Carvath denied sending the message.

He was arrested at the court by two police officers.

Interviewed by police, he compared himself to Sherlock Holmes, that he worked with those involved in the “secret state” and was investigating child sex abuse allegations on a pro-bono basis.

On May 20, having been interviewed by Devon detectives under caution, Carvath wrote a blog post asking “Do I do a Daily Mail murderers article?” The post referenced the paper’s famed Stephen Lawrence front page on which they pictured men they claimed had killed the London teen alongside the headline: “If we are wrong, let them sue us.”

A day later, another article accused the man of being a child sex abuser.

Carvath admitted writing these articles but denied penning another blog post in October prosecutors claimed linked back to the May article.

He said the blog was operated along a secret service-style cell system. Five people had the ability to publish to the blog, with the quintet overseen by a handler. He was not the man in charge and did not know the identities of the other writers.

That system – introduced around six years ago – meant the others could post without fear of reprisals: “One of the key functions that’s useful about this web presence is that it enables other people to safely conduct investigative journalistic activities without any comeback to them.

“If there’s a problem, who do the police or the gangsters go to? They come knocking on my door.

“I’m a brick wall. The buck stops with me.”

Opening the prosecution case, barrister Susan Cavender labelled Carvath a conspiracy theorist who was mistaken in his beliefs: “He continues to believe he is right and the police and the courts are wrong and are covering up for [his victim].”

Giving his evidence from behind screens, Carvath’s alleged victim branded his abuser a nutcase: “He’s been a constant thorn in my side.”

Det Insp Sally Wootton of Devon and Cornwall Police said: “I didn’t feel he was a nuisance. I felt he was potentially a dangerous individual who was stalking a family.”

Leaving the court after he was cleared by the jury, Carvath wished the judge a merry Christmas.

Reacting to his acquittal, he told the Adver: “I give thanks to God for this verdict today. There’s a serious problem with our family courts and I hope and pray that this case may in some way help to bring about change.

“Our family courts are meant to protect children, but it’s well known that in many cases the courts are failing children. There have been numerous cases highlighted by the press in which it’s very clear that children and good parents have been let down.

“There have been several cases of children who have died at the hands of such abusers who only had access to these children because they were so enabled by a family court judge.”