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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70281
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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An anonymous email has been sent to all parents in my daughters

Customer Question

An anonymous email has been sent to all parents in my daughter's class, specifically naming my daughter (15yrs) and five other children of taking "hard drugs", and I quote " I am not just talking about smoking the odd bit of weed. I mean ecstasy etc."
My daughter say it is not true and I don't believe it to be true, but I don't think that is the point. If it was possible to find the source of this email what legal action could be envisaged. Is it libel, defamation, cyber-bullying, criminal or civil wrong etc?
Thanks
Rob.P
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

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

It is potentially defamatory. Its a defamatory statement. The question really is whether they can rely upon truth or fair comment.

Defamation is just a civil wrong.

There is no offence of cyber bullying in the UK but one email alone is not enough even for harassment. It might be a malicious communication though.

The practical reality though is that if this email is genuinely anonymous then the police are not going to commit the resources into locating the sender. Its quite labour intensive to do that and its unlikely they would for a low level malicious communication.

You would have to seek an injunction for the hosting company to tell you which IP address they have on record or possibly which subscriber although, of course, you can obscure or neutralise all of that so it might be fruitless long term.

Defamation is an expensive action though and you should be aware of that.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo