How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70212
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
12826847
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

Last November a so called friend of my wife decided for her

Resolved Question:

Last November a so called friend of my wife decided for her own reasons after they had fallen out over a completely different issue, to tell a number of our neighbours that my wife had an affair with a work colleague behind my back some years ago and publicly called my wife a ******* slut with a number of other choice words in the street in front of witnesses, this was after when she found out my wife had spoken with the neighbours in question and had been informed of her slander. She was told to refrain from her conduct and the friendship obviously ceased. It has since come to light that she has continued with these obvious lies and when confronted by me, called my wife a slut again with other choice words and when asked gave a name of the male in question. The person in question is horrified of the allegation as is my wife.
There are a number of witnesses and rather than take matters in our own hands would like guidance on the legal route.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

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

How can I help with this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I need to know what legal routs I can take and where to go from here. This person has caused to much grief to let it go now.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Is there any reason that you are involved in this? It would seem to be her dispute. Are is there some other act of vexation directed at you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am involved as the victim is obviously my wife and it effects me directly due to her distress.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Well, be that as it may you shouldn't be opening yourself up to her bullets. If the other party is female then you are vulnerable to a whole host of allegations that she is not and, also, I'm sure your wife is perfectly capable.

Has she done anything to you at all directly?

Are you even needed as a witness?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I do not understand I am asking what my wife can do in order to stop this slander and if the offender can be prosecuted for her actions

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No, she can't be prosecuted. This doesn't amount to a criminal act. The cloest you could come is the first incident. That may have amounted to a S5 public order but it was more than six months ago so you are time barred and realistically they would never have prosecuted anyway.

There are civil actions open to your wife. The obvious one is defamation. This is an allegation of sexual promiscuity so there is a weak presumption in her favour that damage was caused. I don't think it would be difficult to show that damage was caused. The problem would be financing the action. Its a very expensive action and there is no legal aid.

Alternatively she could sue in civil harassment. That would be at her cost as well but its cheaper than defamation. There are two incidents so thats a possibility.

The cheapest option is probably to get a solicitor to write to her reminding her of the laws of defamation. You could actually use a barrister under public access now under the new rules which would probably be cheaper. These letters have no legal standing of themselves but they do often achieve the desired effect.

Just leave this to your wife to resolve though. Do not open yourself up to any of this. The other party will only start making allegations against you and they are harder for you to defend. Also, it is your wife's dispute for her to resolve. I know you want to help but its one thing to be a supportive partner and another thing to place yourself in a position where allegations can be made against you to protect somebody else.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you