Archetypal worst boyfriend in the world, or co-victim of one of the cruellest hoaxes ever perpetrated? You decide...

The full background can be found at Claire Swire, but in brief it appears that Bradley forwarded to several of his mates a mail from his girlfriend (the aforementioned Ms. Swire), in which she compliments him on the taste of his semen. One of these mates then decided he was honour-bound to forward it to the entire world. The result: Claire Swire is in hiding, and several employees of London law firm Norton Rose face disciplinary proceedings/the sack for abuse of company email facilities. We would presume that Bradley is among them.

These curious events have made it into all the papers, and while some have mistakenly reported that it was Swire herself who inadvertently forwarded the mail in question, others have branded Chait a "rat", which seems quite fair on the face of it. It's hard to imagine a more despicable act by a partner.

However, IT web-rag The Register probed below the surface of this story and put in a call to Norton Rose. Claire Swire is not an employee of this company, but they were put through to Bradley Chait. Chait wearily claimed that he was the victim of a hoax by his colleagues. Apparently he had only just started with the firm, and as a new boy was prime target for some of the firm's jokers. The exact circumstances of the hoax are unclear, but it would seem that the email was either invented, or doctored, to make it look as if Chait was forwarding on a very personal message from his girlfriend.

If this is true, it was a very imaginative, but utterly reprehensible prank. If not, Chait is either a shameless bufoon or an extremely nasty piece of work. Either way, this saga contains at least one black-hearted villain, and at least one innocent victim.

The full facts, of course, are not yet known.

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