A self-proclaimed 'citizen journalist' told social media followers that two Scots bus tycoons had failed to shut him up after being hit with a £400,000 damages bill for making false crime claims about them.

Paul Hendry from East Sussex has claimed that social media platforms YouTube and X were ultimately to blame for breaches of a legal order relating to a series of false claims against former Rangers directors Sandy and James Easdale.

The 59-year-old is now fighting to avoid a jail sentence for contempt of court over a breach of an interdict which prevents further publication of the claims.

But the Court of Session has been told that while breaching the court order, he told YouTube viewers in a live video that action taken by the Easdales had made him "a million times worse".

He added: "And you can take everything from me, but you can't take my freedom."

Hendry previously accepted that he made further publications on social media and Lord Braid at the Court of Session has told him that he now faces a potential jail sentence for contempt of court.

Now as he fights to prevent being put in prison, he said that the breach was not deliberate and claimed that the real publisher was YouTube and X (Twitter).

The development has come in the wake of action taken by Sandy Easdale, 55, and brother James, 52, who own Greenock-based McGill’s Buses, said to be Scotland's largest independent bus companies.

The Herald:

Hendry, who calls himself a "citizen journalist" on his social media accounts, has previously been found to have used his platforms to falsely name and shame.

The Easdales' concerns came in March, last year, when they were concerned that "defamatory" material relating to them was first published on YouTube and X (formerly Twitter).

After winning a £400,000 claim an interdict was served on Hendry forbidding him from defaming the Easdales by "making, publishing or otherwise disseminating within Scotland, statements, whether orally or in writing".

But the Easdales say that between November 24 and December 8, Hendry had been broadcasting a series of live stream videos on YouTube targeting them.

They said that Hendry broadcast at least one video each day between November 24 to December 8. They were described as "lengthy and repetitive, sometimes running for more than two hours".

But Hendry has now argued that he did not feel he had deliberately breached the court order because he had made the live videos and tweets in England, while the interdict referred to Scotland.

He further stated that they were ultimately published from America by YouTube and X (Twitter), which is why his content could be seen in Scotland.

He told Lord Braid that the interdict, to be relevant, should have been clear that there was a worldwide ban on discussing the Easdales. But the judge told him Scotland did not have the powers to do that.

Hendry has told Lord Braid: "I publish in England... it goes to America and published from there. They get published worldwide from YouTube and Twitter from the USA.

"The average member of the public would say that this would only apply in the borders of Scotland.

"If we are talking about the interdict applying worldwide why doesn't it say ...worldwide. That would have solved all the problems.

"I was told I couldn't do certain things in Scotland. I don't live in Scotland I live in England. The reality is 99.9% of interdicts are to do with people who do live within Scotland. I don't think it is clear. I publish in England, it went to the US and published worldwide.

"I didn't believe I was breaching the interdict. It was a genuine mistake. I did not know.

"There is no way I wilfully defied the court. I am very very sorry about that. I have tried to be humble and contrite from the beginning."

In a statement to the court he said one video published in November came as a result of "a tidal wave of intelligence" which came to him "and the whole thing took a while life of its own and sadly became a runaway train".

"Throughout the whole nightmare, I was convinced and remain convinced I was not breaching the interdict.

"I felt safe to speak about the Easdales until the interdict had been registered in England and Wales completely."

But advocate Ewan Campbell for the Easdales told the Court of Session: "What I say is we are not in the territory of an accidental or inadvertent breach. The conduct was clearly deliberate. If nothing else it showed a lack or respect and disrespect to the court's order.

The Herald: Art Hostage videos involving the Easdales have been placed in 'private' mode.

"The interpretation Mr Hendry puts on the interdict is not a tenable interpretation of the plain words of the interdict.

"He knew his Tweets and YouTube videos in March last year resulted in an interdict. He knew the actions he has taken [were] of the same nature in November and December last year.

"In my submission that demonstrates wilful defiance or at least complete disrespect for the order of the court.

He added: "We are in the territory of deliberate and repeated conduct."

The court heard transcripts of one of the latest offending videos in which Hendry stated: "They're coming after me civilly, with lawsuits and all that game.

"They obtained an order in Scotland and now they come marauding over the border, trying to wave their order, saying we want to enforce it in England and they want £200,000 each.

"So instead of shutting me up, it's making me a million times worse. And you can take everything from me, but you can't take my freedom."

He added: "Even if it gets taken down, other people have recorded this, this is being passed around. The previous one is being passed around. It's going to be appearing on clips on WhatsApp. They're going to be going crazy over the weekend, all around Greenock, all around Scotland, to be honest, and further afield."

He further stated: "Blame these Easdales. They're the ones who started this fight."

In another video transcript he said: "But as I said to you before, and will continue to say, as long as I can't go to jail for it, I do not care, I do not care. And I will continue to expose the Easdales... day after day, after day, after day. "

He further stated in another video: "...and it's [a] message to you, Easdales. I do not care, as long as they can't put me in jail for it. You can come at me with as many lawsuits as you want, for £1 billion, if you want. You won't get one penny, because I haven't got one penny. I haven't got anything.

The Herald:

"Now, yes, please, download this, record it, screen record it, honestly, clip it, do whatever you want with it. When I delete it, I don't care, it can appear... I want it to appear all over the internet. I want the people to be held to account."

According to court documents seen by the Herald, the Easdales had been aware of media reports in August, 2023, that Hendry had been guilty of harassment after making untrue claims that individuals were involved in criminality. He was fined £250 and ordered to pay costs of £660.

The court heard he had at the time been tweeting multiple times a day from the account about various gang-based crime and alleged organised crime members.

Hendry's Art Hostage accounts came to the attention of police in September 2022 when he shifted his focus to the Merseyside area.

He began releasing numerous videos and posts openly discussing a series of recent murders. He passed on the names of people he believed to be involved, apparent motives and alleged facts.

He was issued with a cease and desist order by Merseyside Police concerning his social media posts about the killing of Olivia Pratt-Korbel.

But the 59-year-old was later found to have shared social media posts which police feared would prejudice the trial of Thomas Cashman over the murder of Olivia Pratt-Korbel.

And in August last year, Hendry of Pevensey Bay near the seaside resort of Eastbourne, was found guilty of harassment in the case.

The court was told he wrongly named innocent people as being linked to other murder cases, leading to a man being assaulted.

Lord Braid is due to make a written decision on whether Hendry is in contempt of court in due course.