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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70209
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My husband is a gym owner and we teach children's classes. A

Resolved Question:

My husband is a gym owner and we teach children's classes. A 14 year old has accused him of sending her inapropriate messages via Facebook. He has not done and we have checked his personal and business accounts - there are none. We contacted the police straight away and told the people in question it wasn't my husband and we were having the police investigate it but they decided to abuse us with vile messages, threats and they circulated the fake messages in the local community. We have not slept properly for 2 days now and having to wait 2 weeks for the police to trace the IP address will be torture. The police did contact the people concerned and warned them to stop the abuse and slander. This is likely to ruin my husband and our business. We have been informed that we may be able to start proceedings against the people who have slandered and defamed my husband? Please advise.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

What would you like to know about this please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We have been informed that we may be able to start proceedings against the people who have slandered and defamed my husband? Please advise." Can we sue for defamation ?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Is it the 14 year old that is responsible for these posts?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Her mother and her mother's friends
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Do they have any money?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I doubt it but that's not the point! My husband is being branded a "paedo" and has done nothing. He did not send the messages. It's very easy for someone to send messages from someone else's Facebook account and the IP search by the police should prove this. We want to stop his name and our business being ruined as it's his only income.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, I understand.

The plain fact remains though that there is no point in suing a person who cannot pay the award.

The highest point of an action in defamation would be to get an order to prevent them repeating a specific falsehood and then they could just start saying something else.

A better option would be an action in harassment which is fairly easily committed if they are posting serious allegations that are without basis. That is a lot cheaper and, although you will never recover from them, the orders available are much more all encompassing and quite often have the power of arrest attached.

Also, it is about time accusers had to face up to the consequences of their pernicious money making claims.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok so we would sue for harassment? Does that mean an injunction against the people involved? I assume the 14 year old can not be included?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also what will happen if the police don't find where the messages came from? He is in turmoil and hasn't eaten or slept for 3 days and the police said the trace could take 2 weeks. What will the police do?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Oh no, the 14 year old can be included. Being a minor doesn't protect them from an action in harassment.

You do need to show that one individual is repeating an act of vexation though on at least two occasions.

They can find out who is posting. They might choose not to but they can do it.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

the police might well do nothing. They are not very good at taking action against accusers.

They seem to think it is perfectly acceptable for people to make false allegations consequence free.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thank you I feel much better now. We deffinately have 4 messages from the mother posted to our business page and we have been passed the "dirty messages" by a parent which were being circulated by the girl to other children. Thank you so much for your help.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Well, that is harassment.

that is worth pursuing.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thankyou x
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

No problem and all the best.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Will do x