This is one of those 'Wow, just wow!' stories. It has two strands, which come together in the most bizarre way.
Last spring, a flamboyant Twitter character called Banffers QC (whose old avatar photo is pictured, left) caused a storm when he was outed as a fake after offering several law students "pupillages at his chambers". At which point, @BanffersQC mysteriously vanished.
A year later, we ran what we thought was a completely unrelated story about the implausibly large number of Twitter followers of Lincolnshire police commissioner candidate Mervyn Barrett.
The story helped spur an investigation into Barrett by The Telegraph, which on Sunday revealed that his campaign was backed by what it termed "American neo-conservative lobbyists and companies pushing for police privatisation". Since the news broke, both Barrett and his campaign manager, Matthew Brown (who is also the chairman of one of the companies apparently backing Barrett), have quit.
Now, this is where the two strands come together...
On Wednesday morning, the Twitter account of London criminal set 4 Breams Buildings boasted almost 15,000 followers – far more than any other barristers' chambers.
By the end of the day, after Legal Cheek had contacted 4 Breams with a request for comment on evidence that most of its Twitter followers were fake, the account had disappeared. It has since been replaced with a new account that, to date, has just 35 followers.
As you can see below in the graph from Twitter Counter, the Twitter monitoring service, 4 Breams Buildings spent the last few months rapidly losing followers from its old account, with numbers dropping from almost 17,000 to below 15,000.
The other week we reported the spectacular – and rather unnatural – growth in the Twitter follower count of police commissioner candidate Mervyn Barrett OBE.
Perhaps self-styled "celebrity lawyer" Dean Dunham (pictured), purveyor of legal advice in The Sun, read our article. Because since then Dunham’s enormous Twitter follower account – which once stood at well in excess of 72,000 – has been in freefall...
Mervyn Barrett OBE, who is running to be police and crime commissioner in Lincolnshire, has a lot of Twitter followers: 17,046, to be precise.
Often, by Barrett’s own admission, it can be "hard to keep track" of all those social media devotees.
But it turns out that such problems are rather new for Barrett, who as recently as 28 June had just 330 followers...