Mark Roberts, lord of extortion

Mark Roberts, lord of extortion

Following our exposē of would-be Plaid Cymru councillor, Mark Roberts a.k.a. lord Marcher of Trellech, dubbed the ‘lord of extortion’ by the press, Plaid are taking active measures to expel Roberts. We wonder, however, whether the good lord will go quietly, given his continuing litigious adventures – Roberts is taking legal action against the Vale of Glamorgan council to get his hands on the Old Harbour in Barry – or whether he’ll call on Darwin Gray, the Cardiff-based solicitors, to defend his honour.

Established in 2002 by Bethan Darwin and Donald Gray, the legal firm has carried out much of Roberts’ dirty work, including the scam against the residents of Peterstone Wentlooge, Newport in 2004. Paul Flynn MP was so outraged by the ‘atrocious’ letter sent by Darwin Gray to residents that he named and shamed their four senior solicitors (Darwin and Gray plus colleagues Jason Smith and Rhodri Lewis) in his campaign newsletter, describing them as ‘parasites‘.


Donald Gray, specialist in common land and manorial law

Donald Gray, specialist in common land and manorial law

 Flynn couldn’t possibly be referring to the Donald Gray who provides commercial property advice for South Wales charity, Valleys Kids, could he? Or media-friendly Bethan Darwin who does voluntary work for Cardiff Law Centre and who set up the Superwoman charity which boasts of helping Barnardo’s Cymru, Trust for Sick Kids, Bobath Cymru, Smile Train and Noah’s Ark? At Superwoman 4, a charity piss-up for the great and the good, held in October 2008, guests were treated to talks by Menna Richards, head of BBC Wales, and Betsan Powys, Wales’ leading political pundit. Ms Darwin clearly knows people in high places.

Bethan Darwin, superwoman

Bethan Darwin, superwoman

Plaid Cymru beware! When it comes to assisting Mr Roberts with his scams, justice is the last thing to concern Darwin Gray. Mind you, they can’t be that good. Roberts lost his attempt to extort money from the Peterstone residents and last year got stuffed in another high court case resulting in a legal bill running into hundreds of thousands of pounds. Before he gets kicked out of Plaid Cymru, perhaps Mr Roberts should think about giving Darwin Gray the boot…

One thing’s for sure: Valleys Kids and all the other charities supported by Darwin Gray solicitors must sever their links with these ‘parasites’ before they, too, become discredited.

And when Roberts does get his marching orders from Plaid, remember, it was South Wales Anarchists wot done it!!



Lord Marcher of Trellech aka Mark Roberts aka Mark Andrew Tudor of Friar's Point, Barry Island; owner of Tacticall Radio Hire of Trecader Court, Barry, or would that be 11 Wayne Street, Trehafod?

Lord Marcher of Trellech aka Mark Roberts aka Mark Andrew Tudor of Friar's Point, Barry Island; owner of Tacticall Radio Hire, Trecader Court, Barry or would that be 11, Wayne Street, Trehafod?


Who thinks this man is fit to be a councillor?

Not Glenys Phillips, an 86 year-old disabled widow living in Ferndale, Rhondda, that’s for sure. Mr Roberts bought up the freehold property of her home for £6,350 three years ago without her knowledge and is now demanding up to £20,000 for the leasehold of the house she’s been living in for 60 years. Mrs Phillips will just have to go on worrying about being evicted while the case is considered by the leasehold tribunal. That can take 18 months!

Julie Foster and others living in Peterstone Wentlooge, near Newport, may not be overjoyed to have Roberts ‘lording’ it over them either. Over the years Roberts has bought up 60 manorial titles, including that of Romney, which covers common land in and around Peterstone. Having paid £10,000 for the hereditary title at an auction, Roberts then sent letters to the residents, demanding sums of up to £45,000 in return for access to their homes across paths and verges – access they’ve enjoyed freely all their lives! The letter threatened litigation if villagers didn’t cough up immediately. Housing officer Ruth Winstanley faced an £18,000 bill.

“I was flabbergasted when I received the letter demanding I pay for the right to park my car in my own drive, I’ve never heard of such an outrageous thing in my life.”

Julie Foster and her neighbours paid out £100,000 before the legal loophole was closed and Roberts handed a hefty bill for legal costs. A resident of Alstonefield, a village in the Peak District where Roberts tried a similar scam said:

“This is the 21st century and we feel trapped, prisoners on our own land.”

The fishermen of West Wales certainly wouldn’t consider Roberts fit to be their councillor after he tried to establish title to half the coastline of Pembrokeshire and exclusive fishing rights! Who’s to say what fishermen would have been asked to pay? Fortunately, Roberts lost this case as well and earlier this year was handed another bill for hundreds of thousands of pounds, which may explain why he’s now targeting vulnerable people like Mrs Phillips.

Plaid Cymru, however, would be only too pleased to see Mr Roberts, dubbed the ‘lord of extortion’ by the press, in a position of authority. In fact, such is Plaid Cymru’s conviction of Mr Roberts’ integrity and of his commitment to civic duty and social justice, that they backed him as the Plaid Cymru candidate in not one, but two council elections in St Athan in 2004 and Buttrills in the Vale of Glamorgan in 2008, where he finished a respectable 4th out of 6 candidates. Watch out for Mr Roberts at the next Welsh Assembly elections! A bright future as housing minister may be in the offing. Homeowners, check your leases now!