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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My ex husband has spent 2 years publically trying to ruin my

Resolved Question:

My ex husband has spent 2 years publically trying to ruin my new partner by building websites and facebook almost identical to my partners name and business name with defamatory information on it. My partner is self-employed and this has caused him massive issues with his work and doubtless lost him business he doesn't even know about from potential customers who have seen these websites which accuse him of many things including mental and physical abuse of children. My partner has no records or convictions etc. The police eventually said that the duration and repeated offences meant he could be charged with malicious communication or harrassment. The police told us that provided he admitted to the offence, which he did, it was not the content that mattered but the fact that you cannot decide to publically destroy someone. My ex husband has now apparantly told the police he will be taking the matter to court. Does he have any grounds for winning?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

Taking it to the civil court?

What is the defamatory content?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The police have charged him and offered him a caution. The police told us he refused the caution and is taking it to court as he doesn't want it on his record. Sorry I've never been involved with the law so I didn't even know that was possible.He built a website with the same domain name as my partners but used .co.uk instead of .com. My partner changed his domain name and my husband repeated the process. He didn't fully name my partner (using some asterisks in place of letters) but it was obvious who he was relating to and the second website domain name has his full name in the domain name itself so I cannot see how it could be seen as being subjective. He 'suggested' he was a predator on women, violent towards women, outstanding debts, physical and mental abuse of minors'. He had a messy relationship end with a partner who my husband found and apparantly this is her evidence. I have seen no evidence whatsoever from her or my ex, and I know there are no criminal convictions or on Clares report etc. as I checked as much as I possibly could. I understand he could take a civil case. We couldn't do that because of the cost. Even then with no evidence (which I think my husband would have produced if there really was any) surely its one persons word against another if theres no convictions?
Thank you
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

Ok.

So they are prosecuting him. He cannot have admitted it then. Otherwise a caution would have been a good deal.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

He may well have admitted making the posts but he seems to be saying they are true and so not malicious communication or harassment.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

He is perfectly entitled to a trial if he chooses. It does sound as though it could be an unpleasant one with issues of bad character being put to your husband.

It is possible that his former partner will be produced as a witness too.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

The reality is that most allegations of domestic abuse are a load of nonsense. They are either current partner's using the police as a medication service or former partners trying to take revenge.

That doesn't mean they won't be considered. They should not. They should be in the family court as the cost of the accuser. Sadly that is not the current policy. If I made policy the police would not even attend at domestics. Sadly I do not.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
OK, I think it is correct that he admitted to the posts but is saying they are true. However, surely the point is that you cannot publically decide to destroy someones personal character, business and livelihood. I'm not suggesting for a moment that the comments are true, but are you saying that if they are its OK to do that? I think this is the key question, thanks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

I think a court probably would not convict him of these offences if there is a doubt over whether the comments are true.

Certainly a truthful statement can't be defamatory.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I understand some of your comments. We only went to the police after years of putting up with this and where it was clear he was not going to stop despite repeated requests. We absolutely felt we had no choice. However it also seems that you are saying it is legally ok to publically bully someone. If someone stole from me and admitted it does that make it ok for me to print the fact on billboards around town? Surely whether something is true or not is not the issue but the public harrassment which is repeated and over a long period of time. If this is OK then something is surely wrong in general?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

Yes, you would be perfectly free to do that if what you were saying was accurate.

People are free to tell the truth in the UK as publicly as they like.

Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69775
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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