A ‘menacing’ architect has been struck off for making up disfavourable web reviews of his ex-partners’ businesses.
Andrew Guy, 41, used a string of pseudonyms to post fictitious one-star write-ups on Google.
The Hampshire designer was booted from the profession after a watchdog found him guilty of ‘intimidatory behaviour’.
Andrew Guy, 41, has been struck off by the Architects Registration Board after he was found guilty of ‘intimidatory behaviour’
The Architects Registration Board heard how he targeted eight businesses with the aggressive posts, including rivals and companies run by two women he had dated.
The watchdog revealed how one guest house owner – who went on just two dates with Guy – suddenly received a string of negative reviews in late 2018.
Four lowly one-star ratings appeared under different names, claiming that her B&B was ‘absolutely shocking’, with ‘rude owners’ and ‘small, noisy and dirty’ rooms.
Under the name ‘Chris Ede’, the review stated: ‘I cannot believe this so-called b+b has so many good reviews.
‘Take a look under the bed for a collection of stunning dust! AVOID..’
Guy, under the name Karen Oman, added in another post: ‘Dirty poor quality b+b. Bathrooms are filthy!!’.
A third fake review, from ‘Jane Baker’, warned: ‘I have stayed there and it’s dirty, poorly insulated…and the shower was filthy! Let’s see if the owners pretend I did not stay there*.then I’ll post my invoice and photos online.’
Another woman, who dated Guy for three months in 2004, also suffered three scathing reviews from ‘Karen Oman’.
Her ‘little market’ cake stall was blasted for its ‘terrible, cheap quality products’.
Fake reviews left on other Google profiles included one for an architecture firm where Guy used to work and a letting agent he reportedly owed money to.
The Architects Registration Board (pictured) struck off Guy after finding his ‘dishonesty was deliberate, repeated and intended to cause reputational harm to eight businesses’
He branded the agency ‘corrupt’, ‘arrogant’ and ‘rude’.
Guy, who ran Besprak architects in Havant, Hants, did not appear at the hearing.
In previous correspondence with the regulator he insisted he had been ‘maliciously targeted’ and that his accusers had ‘perfectly crafted’ their complaints.
The watchdog could not categorically prove the fake posts were made by Guy, but said it was ‘more likely than not’ that he was behind them.
The ARB said a number of factors pointed to the architect – including that he was the only common link between the eight otherwise unconnected targets.
The panel said Guy had ‘a connection to each of the parties’ and in a number of cases the relationship ‘did not end positively’.
It added: ‘The language, tone and style of the postings were similar, making it more likely that the postings were made by the same person.
‘A number of witnesses also stated that the tone was similar to language Mr Guy had previously used. The committee noted that the tone was also similar to the tone of Mr Guy’s correspondence with the ARB.’
The architects’ regulator described its witnesses as ‘credible and reliable’.
It decided to remove Guy from the register for his ‘serious dishonesty’ and ‘entrenched integrity issues’, which it said were ‘fundamentally incompatible’ with being an architect.
Striking him off for unacceptable professional conduct, chairman Julian Weinberg said: ‘Mr Guy’s dishonesty was deliberate, repeated and intended to cause reputational harm to eight businesses and was demonstrative of a serious lack of integrity.
‘The negative postings continued over a period of approximately 10 months and only stopped when he was notified of possible action being taken against him.
‘Clients must be able to have trust and confidence in architects. That is an essential element of what it means to be a professional.’
‘[His] conduct was menacing and intimidatory and was directed towards other architectural practices and two women with whom he had had a relationship.’
Guy was approached for comment, but failed to respond.