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01-Jul-2015 18:34

They then applied to the High Court for an “unmasking order” against Google and Wordpress, the blog host, to force them to hand over the IP address – a unique computer number – of the author.

“How do you feel about someone who has ruined your life?

That’s what he has done, he has destroyed everything with his accusations.” Mr Richards, 46, wrote about Mr Pattemore’s supposed involvement in property fraud on the blog in the apparent hope that Miss Bellingham’s company, Virtual Property World, would lose business.

However, when Richards, a property investor who claims to have a portfolio of more than £10 million, published the posts in March last year Virtual Property World started losing business.

Mr Richards, who sold his dating website Dating for nearly £30 million in 2007, started a rival online property agency, Estates, a year before the blog started.

The entrepreneur, who has homes in Kidderminster, Worcs, and Spain, boasts on his website that he owns a helicopter, a yacht, a collection of cars, and bars and properties in Tenerife, including a £1.4 million villa.

He had left school at 16, spending several years as a holiday rep in Gran Canaria before trying to make his fortune importing electronic toys from Japan.

He then turned his attentions to online businesses, creating his dating website, which became the largest in Britain, and later an estate agency, Property, which went into administration after two years.

Miss Bellingham and her husband only discovered that the blog had been posting the accusations after they were contacted by a trade body, the British Franchise Association, which had removed their company’s accreditation after Mr Richards sent it a link to the website.

It suffered real losses, she said, putting their business and reputation at risk.“This man was allowed to destroy our lives, our business and put a stain on my career,” she said.