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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70416
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My brother was accused of child abuse - can he sue the person

Customer Question

My brother was accused of child abuse - can he sue the person that made this allegation as he was found innocent of this crime although she was a minor at the time? But an adult now....
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
He wasn't found innocent. He just wasn't proven guilty. Legally there is a huge difference.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
In principle he has a defamation claim and there is no defence to defamation in saying that you were a minor at the time that you made the defamatory statement.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
In practice though there are various problems. The first is that it is very expensive to bring a defamation action, costing in excess of £20k and if this person has no money there is no point as she cannot pay the award even if you won.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Also, he has to prove, on the balance of probabilities, that he did not commit the offence which is hard to do with an allegation of sexual abuse. That is why they make these allegations. It is fairly safe to do as the negative cannot be proven.It would be disappointing if the court concluded that he probably had committed the offence. Then it removes from him the ability to say that the allegations were investigated and found to be without merit.Can I clarify anything for you?Jo