A man has been removed from the Architects Register after using fake Google reviews to intimidate two women he used to date
The ARB applied its most severe punishment against Andrew Guy, of Hampshire-based BESPRAK Architecture + Interiors, despite none of Guy’s offending actions taking place as part of his work life.
Earlier this month the regulator found Guy guilty of ‘menacing and intimidatory behaviour’ when he used multiple online pseudonyms to post aggressive one-star reviews on Google for eight businesses.
The businesses included three architecture practices and three letting agents he had links to, as well as two companies run by women he had previously dated.
One of the women told the ARB she had gone on two dates with Guy in 2009 and had a brief platonic friendship with him until 2012, when she felt increasingly uncomfortable with his behaviour.
In 2018 she received four one-star reviews for her B&B, but none of the names of reviewers appeared in logs of people who had stayed there.
One of the reviews said the B&B was ‘absolutely shocking’ with owners who are ‘sarcastic rude and not helpful’ and rooms that are ‘small noisy and dirty’.
Another woman told the ARB she had met Guy in 2004 and dated him for three months, adding that after they broke up Guy had sent threatening text messages to her.
In 2018 Guy left reviews for her cake stall, alleging she sold ‘terrible, cheap quality products’.
Fake reviews left on other businesses’ Google profiles included one for an architecture firm where Guy used to work and a letting agent which told the ARB it was owed money by Guy.
Guy denied all the allegations made against him, although he did not appear at his ARB hearing or send anybody else to represent him.
The ARB said it could not absolutely prove Guy was behind the reviews but that several factors pointed to it being him – including the fact he was the only link between the targets of the false reviews.
The architects’ regulator found the evidence by all witnesses to be credible and reliable. It decided to remove Guy from the register for his ‘serious dishonesty’ and ‘entrenched integrity issues’ – which are ‘fundamentally incompatible’ with being an architect.
Five days before the hearing, Guy asked to be removed from the Architects Register, before telling the ARB it could no longer investigate him if he was not an architect.
Guy told the AJ that the ARB was ‘bent and twisted’, adding: ‘The witnesses they put in were false. I don’t know any of them.’
However, he declined to provide any more details unless the AJ postponed publishing a story about him.