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Ask Jo C. Your Own Question

Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69268
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi Jo C I have asked a detailed question and paid £33 if I

Customer Question

Hi Jo C I have asked a detailed question and paid £33 if I pay another £60 will you answer my question?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

What is your question please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Jo C I have sent a detailed question about defamation of character. Have you lost my question? You asked me for £60 which I will pay if you answer the question. Oi Have now paid £33 plus £11 with no answer. Have you lost my question ?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
There isn't another question on your account that I can see?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

How is it that I paid £33 . I wrote a detailed question.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
It doesn't seem to be there?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Jo C

My wife Lucy is a qualified music teacher and has started Devonport Park choir 2 years ago. One of the singers in the choir, Priscilla, had to be asked to leave the choir as she was difficult for Lucy to continue with a relationship singing with her. Priscilla was asked not to attend the choir by letter but attended a rehearsal shouting and screaming to the other 35 members that she was being picked on, bullied and demeaned. She has continued to tell members of Friends of Devonport Park that she has been maltreated.

Lucy is also a member of Friends of Devonport Park committee with Priscilla. I am the Secretary and Michael is the chairman. I and Michael have continually asked Priscilla to give us details of events that she has helped to organise in the Park with Plymouth Council but refuses. She says and has told everyone that I am harassing her and bullying her. She is suffering from sleepless nights. The chairman Michael has said she is wrong and she should give information of contacts to the secretary who is responsible for full administration and advice on legal problems if there is one.

I feel that Priscilla is defaming or characters by word and verbally to other committee members(10) and members of FDP (100).

My wife and I are both involved with volunteer groups and feel that the constant defaming will affect other groups who may not want to have us on their committees because Priscilla is saying that we are bullying, intimidating and harassing her. The chairman and 75% of the committee know this is not true and say so.

We have requested a qualified mediation but this has been rejected by Priscilla. What can we do. Can we go to court?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Whats the nature of the defamation?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Priscilla is telling everyone the she has been humiliated, harassed,intimidated by Lucy and Fairfax
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for that.

These comments may be defamatory.

You have to prove that the words are defamatory, that they would be understood to refer to you and that they have been published to a 3rd party.

Comments made directly to a person about themselves are not published and so cannot be defamatory however bad or untrue they are. If such contact were to continue it might amount to harassment.

There is no set definition of defamation. A statement is likely to be considered defamatory if it tends to do anyone of the following.

1 lower the claimant in the estimation of right minded members of society

2 disparage the claimant in his business, trade, office or profession

3 expose the claimant to hatred, ridicule or contempt or

4 cause the claimant to be shunned or avoided

An opinion, however, is not generally defamatory. People are entitled to an opinion under the human rights act and, indeed, under the common law generally. However, a person cannot hide behind the argument that a defamatory comment is just an opinion. For instance, if the person were to say “in my opinion, X is a liar with 15 convictions for theft" then that would be defamatory unless it were true. The opinion must be fair with some basis for it. It must be shown that it was a reasonable comments in all the circumstances.

Similarly, foul abuse is not defamatory although there might be other actions open to an aggrieved person.

Truth is a defence to defamation. The defendant would have to prove that it was the truth and that is reasonably hard to do so this defence is not often relied upon.

The real difficulty with defamation actions though is that they are very expensive. Unfortunately they are the domain of the very rich. That is not to say that you couldn't send a letter from a local solicitor for reasonable cost warning this person of the laws of libel and slander.

To be wholly honest, if that is all she is saying then you are going to struggle to convince a court that is really a defamatory statement within the requirements of the law I'm afraid. Its clearly an adverse statement but even if these comments were accepted at their highest, they are not really sufficient to cause society to shun you.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need any more information.

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