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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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Is this letter defamatory? My solicitor says he has no experience

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Is this letter defamatory? My solicitor says he has no experience of defamation.
He is concerned that she will sue me (to make money probably).


FIRST and FINAL Correspondence Concerning Facts Known Only to The Reader and Writer

Let’s dispense with the traditional method of beginning a letter. You certainly are not to be affectionately addressed by the term ‘Dear’. This is truly an extraordinary letter that I find myself writing to someone.

Undoubtedly, you thought, that with my extensive injuries, I could never recover any memory to be able to fathom out what your motives have been. Without any question, you wish I had eventually died because then, and only then, would you have got away with your dastardly plot. Imagine what your sons, your daughters and grandchildren, ex-Shop Direct colleagues, and neighbours would think of you – if only they knew. Many would, I daresay, think it unseemly that someone they knew, or have known for years, could act in such a callous and devious manner. They will ask themselves, ‘is this what I can expect from my ‘own best friend’? Well, someone I had known and confided in for years did the same to me! Perhaps, desperation turned you into the con-woman I now know. If I’m honest, I fear it was plain greed.

After the traumatic accident I was involved in, you probably said to yourself, “She’s in for a big insurance payout…I‘m going to get some of it too!” What did your now-dead husband Ken tell you to do when he heard about my accident? Was he sympathethic or did he say “Let’s rip her off!” I suspect, knowing Ken, that he acted like a true gentleman and died, thankfully, unknowingly married to a hard-faced liar. I think he would be thoroughly ashamed of you, if he knew! Do not even try and impress me by telling how grief-stricken you were at the time of stealing. Nobody loses someone they loved dearly and then turns into a thief overnight, plotting, planning, and scheming, deviously, as they go along.

As you know well, after my accident, I was taken to Blackburn Hospital to be stabilised then to Preston hospital for my operation. I was then moved to Rakeshead Rehabilitation Centre. It was here that I was told about being hit by a car. One day, my occupational therapist, Amanda Ramsbottom, asked me for permission to give you my house door keys. She said that I needed a change of clothes. There was no one else. I thought I could trust you, as you were my best friend and best friends trust and would not harm each other, or so I thought. Thereafter, you began your thieving episode.

Do you remember asking me (in Rakeshead Rehabilitation Centre), more than once, to tell you how much money I would be getting from the insurance company? Why was that? Was it because you knew I had no one and thought you make me so very grateful to you? That, in turn, I would let you have a large sum of money, out of gratitude, for all the things you (pretended) did for me?

Can you remember telling me that your husband died 4 days after I had my accident? When I came out of Rakeshead, Josie and I went to the local library as my computer was being cleaned of a virus and because I couldn’t remember the password. Because of the lies you were telling me, I accessed the Internet via the local library to check if your husband had really died. I discovered that he had, indeed, but not when you said. You, specifically, told me that Ken had died 4 days after I had my accident. I discovered from the Burnley Express that he had, in fact, died 3 weeks after I had my accident. ‘What on earth’ possessed you to lie about that too? As a grieving widow, why did you lie? Do not even bother to pretend that you got the dates muddled. Every widow remembers the date of her husband’s death. What made you so different? Was it designed to get the sympathy vote from me? To make me feel so sorry for you? I even told my Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Stephen Weatherhead, that your husband had died four days after my accident. You were quite brilliant at formulating lies, Lynne. An absolute stalwart.

Do you remember telling me that Bluebelle, my cat, had to have all her teeth taken out and you had arranged for it to happen? I felt a bit annoyed that no one had asked me for my permission. One day, as I lay on my bed (at home), Bluebelle crawled onto my lap and yawned. I saw that about two or three teeth were missing. Bluebelle was an older cat anyway and I thought “Lynne said she had had all her teeth taken out!” Yet, another lie from you and just part of your clever, scheming, process.

Do you remember telling me that I was not to return home, that I would get into a “terrible muddle” about everything, that, “I wouldn’t remember things properly?”. How very convenient for you, my dear. You insisted that I leave my home (where I had a mortgage) and move into a council-owned flat just like yours? You said that you would make sure that ‘they’ (meaning the council), did not put me just anywhere, as you would arrange it all. I finally went home eight months after my accident (February 2012) and arranged for my cats to come home the following day. I was very disappointed when I got home to see that eight months of dust and dirt had accumulated. The workmen had been in to give me a new boiler. Unbeknown to you, I saw one of my next-door neighbours, the schoolteacher up at Bacup Primary School. She said she was relieved to see me. She told that she and her boyfriend had been returning from Leytonstone on the morning of the accident. She told of how she saw the bicycle completely crushed, an ambulance standing there, not moving, of the police directing the traffic. She said she had her hands over her face because it looked so bad to think that someone had been caught up in it.

It was not until she reached home that, having watched the Granada News following the national news, and a neighbour speaking to her, that she understood that I, her next-door neighbour, was involved. Unbeknown to you, the first day I came home was when I saw her. I looked out through my kitchen window and saw a familiar face. I opened the kitchen door and went outside. She said something like, “Oh Heather, I’m so glad to see you! How are you feeling?” She told me about how she had seen my cats inside on the windowsills. She arranged for them to go into a cats’ home, in Hapton. It was not you, my dear, as you would have had me believe. It was my neighbour who arranged for them to be taken care of. It was part of your evil little plan to make me feel so grateful to you. I mentioned your name to the teacher and she had never heard of you. I then realised you had lied about taking care of my cats for me.

Do you remember, I telephoned you on the same morning I came home? Now, had it been you, returning home after 8 months away. I would have said something like, ”You must be so relieved to be at home”. “How does it feel after 8 months away?” “Is there ANYTHING at all you want me to do for you?” Instead, you said in an accusing voice, “So, you’ve gone home then!” You sounded like I had no right to go back to my own house. How dare I, in other words. We both know why, don’t we Lynne? I immediately telephoned Amanda Ramsbottom at Rakeshead and said to her, I’ve just spoken to Lynne. I don’t know what she’s been up to but she sounds incredibly guilty.” I thought you had run up my phone bill but the line was disconnected because the bill hadn’t been paid. I began to look around the house because I was so suspicious. It was then I began to notice that things in my house were missing. I decided there and then to pretend my next-door neighbour, the school teacher, had stolen some items, just to see what you would say. You said, “She hasn’t taken anything..…” and trailed off. I knew it was you! But what you didn’t do was to continue finishing your sentence and say, “…it was me.” I was expecting that. You simply couldn’t bring yourself to admit it and tell the truth, could you?

I turned on my computer and it asked me for a password. It was then that I told myself it was just as well because you would have had your nose into everything and running up my Internet bill. I didn’t even remember the password XXXXX Josie and I took it to the local computer shop, arranging for them to unlock it and get rid of the virus on it.

Firstly, had you been in a serious accident and not been home for month, I would not have let you come back to a dirty house. I would have dusted, wiped, cleaned, cooked and washed for you. I would have gone to the supermarket to buy you food, etc. As my so-called ‘best friend’, you could not have cared less. The only thing you were interested in was the amount of money I was going to get, so that I would give you some, out of sheer gratefulness. You were only interested in getting your ‘sticky mits’ on my compensation! You even went as far as ransacking my home! A neighbour of mine went away to look after her godson, a trip to France, to see distant friends and asked me to look after her two cats for her. I did just that – twice a day. It was difficult walking down to her home and walking back up the slope to mine again, but I managed it. I had the key to the back door. I went into the kitchen and the sitting room where the cats’ bowls were, picked them up, washed them, put cat food in and fed them separately, as requested. I cleaned out both litter trays, swept the floor, gave them fresh water, filled up their bowl of dried food and after fussing over them both, locked the backdoor and left the house. I had even told Christine to tell the people in the Chinese restaurant and her neighbours not to worry if they saw me. I was there to look after her cats. I had the opportunity and still never set foot in the other room on the ground floor, nor did I go upstairs. Why not? I had no reason to and did not want to. I was there to feed and look after her cats and that is what I did. You would never have done that though, would you?

Amanda Ramsbottom, gave you my house keys. The front door key was badly damaged in my impact with the car, so you could only access my home via the backdoor. This was a godsend for you. No one would see you leaving with armfuls of my property. Except Jamie. He lives at No. 8, Albert Terrace. He told me he saw you leaving via the back, carrying an armful of items belonging to me. Jamie is a man. Men don’t notice or suspect anything going on right under their noses. You were leaving with all manner of items, all belonging to me! Saucepans, frying pan, not even my clothes were spared! I don’t know why you stole them, you were not my size. Were you intending to sell them? Did you have any of your daughters in mind? Catherine? Or perhaps one of the others. I now know you and the only reason you would have taken them is to make money! You no longer had a husband to provide you with money. You were already earning money just as I was, and I wasn’t married either!

The day I went home, for an overnight stay (part of the procedure at Rakeshead), I went with Amanda Ramsbottom and her colleague, Sharon. Sharon and I went upstairs to my bedroom. Time passed and after a while of sorting out my bed. Sharon picked up my large wicker basket and said, “Does this belong to you?” I looked at what she was holding and it was a man’s beige cardigan, a pair of men’s black trousers, a man’s T-shirt and a man’s vest. There was also a pile of discoloured women’s knickers. They looked as though they had been washed with something dark that would discolour them, probably the trousers. I smelled them and they smelled of being recently washed. Sharon asked me if they were mine. I told her that my mother always told me that I should wash white with white, black with black, or red. Better still to read the washing labels carefully. I told Sharon that fact and denied that the grubby looking knickers were mine. You, Lynne, were the first person that I thought of. They smelled fresh, clothes included. Then I realised that you had been using my washing machine, my soap powder, and my electricity - in my absence. How sneaky was that? There was, absolutely, nothing wrong with your washing machine, whatsoever. I had, as a part of my gradual release from Rakeshead, been to your flat and seen your washing machine. I even showed them to my solicitor when he travelled from Manchester to hold a meeting with me at home. Have you now managed to buy some white knickers to replace the dreadful ones you left in my house? You could have gone to any of your daughters for help with your washing. You decided on the one vulnerable mug you knew. How low can one woman sink? Imagine what you would have done and said if any of your precious daughters had been treated this way. What’s that? One law for you and your family and another for me?

You even stole the two suitcases from atop my wardrobe. One contained a very pretty, circular cotton tablecloth, with individual pockets for holding each napkin. My mother bought it in Norway, in 1975, when she, my father and I, holidayed there. It also contained the jacket my mother bought and wore to my christening, all those years ago. Also included is a black heavily beaded chiffon blouse that I wore on special occasions and other eveningwear. The other suitcase contained swimwear; blue, white, multi-coloured bikini, wraps to cover up in, and I do not remember what else. My handcrafted golf club from Regents Park Golf and Tennis Club is something you also stole. My green wellington boots, blue box trolley, breadknife, carving knife, plates. If it wasn’t nailed to the ground, then you stole it. You had the motive, the opportunity, and wherewithal to steal from me. You thought I would never remember, didn’t you? Tut, tut!

So, where did you stash all the items that you stole from me? In your garage, I daresay. You would not have been able to put your car away as it would, probably, have been blocked by stolen property. It’s a pity (for me) that the police only telephoned you to make some basic inquiries, isn’t it. What did you tell them – over the telephone? “Oh, you can’t listen to anything she says, she’s had a bad knock to the head!” There ended their ‘interview’. Can you imagine them treating the Duchess of Cambridge that way, had she had items stolen? I think not! The crime committed isn’t relevant – it is the victim’s status that really matters.

The police did not charge the 75-year-old lunatic either. I heard it was to be with ‘driving without due care and attention’. It would have been a different story, had I run him over, or crashed into him, with my bicycle, though. My case manager, Judith Willcock, told me they probably told him to give up his driving licence or they would charge him. They never did but easy come, easy go. I went with Josie, to the police station, to make a complaint about all the things you had stolen from my home. They, told me, at Burnley police station, on the first occasion, that there was ‘nothing valuable’ stolen. Now, had I gone into any supermarket and stolen an egg, they would have investigated it and eventually arrested me, on the spot, for shoplifting. The police finally told Judith that there was ‘no case for you to answer’. Naturally, it must have been an immense relief to you. I can see you smiling and hear you saying, “Phew!, I got away with it!” I must now conclude that since the police refuse to deal with any crime that I report, I should not make any further attempts in future, should they occur. I have learned my lesson.

Imagine, one blouse worth more than £80 (bought in Dickens & Jones, Regent Street), several items of clothing, a Dorma quilted bed cover, motorcycle trousers (for my scooter) costing £80 plus, that your itchy fingers stole and the rest. No one can or should put a price on items that mean so much. My whole record collection (singles and LPs dating back to my teenage years) in a red box has been stolen by you. It contained photographs – of no use to you whatsoever. A jam-straining net and its holder, that you stole from my wardrobe. Lots more stuff that I probably haven’t even discovered yet!

Other missing items will probably be discovered after I have moved. That is probably what you would have wanted. You would have arranged for me to move to a council property, just like yours, and then blamed the missing items on the removal men. Very clever Lynne, but I’m too smart for you! I spoke to a Criminal Law solicitor at Donald, Race & Newton, and he told me that I should go back to the police and speak to them again. He said it didn’t matter that there was ‘nothing of value’ stolen. He said that what happened to me was a betrayal by someone I had known and trusted. How true!

I wasn’t ‘smart’ back then because I had suffered severe memory loss due to a sub-arachchoid brain haemorrhage plus a shattered and dislocated wrist, arm and shoulder and a brachial plexus injury. I now have two metal plates in my right arm and I am right-handed. Well, the police didn’t think it was worth charging anyone for those little injuries, but I did! You seized the opportunity of me having very poor memory to take full advantage. As if I didn’t have enough to think and worry about. Although I was wearing a cycle helmet, it was badly dented. Unfortunately for you, madam, my memory is now improved. It isn’t perfect but I remember what you did and didn’t do, said and didn’t say.

Thankfully, the accident happened, slap-bang, right in front of a CCTV camera, because I know the old git would have lied and blamed me for the accident. He did not have right of way – I did. He was speeding, at about twice the speed limit, which was 30 mph. Again, motorists are seen as more important and valuable than mere cyclists!

I remember you telling me once how your manager at Shop Direct, I have forgotten his name, but he was gay and wore glasses. You said that on the Thursday before Christmas, he fell downstairs and struck his head. You said he couldn’t go back to work for the moment because all he speak was gobbledegook. Remember that? I had a feeling, even then, that you were lying and making things up. I even rang Shop Direct in Preston myself, to try and find out if your manager had really had an accident. The whole episode sounded so ‘fishy’. Such is your reputation.

How would you like it if you had been involved in a serious road accident, been put on life support and was so badly injured that you didn’t even remember you had pets until months afterwards? In the meantime, your best friend spins you a tissue of lies and goes to your home to get clean clothes. While she is in your house, she steals as much as she can. I didn’t even have a jacket to go and see my barrister the other week because you had relieved me of them. A very kind support worker (now my good and honest friend), Josie, had to dig one out of her wardrobe and give me one of hers (a never-before-worn one). All because you couldn’t keep your thieving hands off my property! I worked to buy the everything I had. Nobody gave me anything but you wanted to ensure that I had nothing. You had two salaries coming in at the time and, still, it was not enough for you.

I just hope you don’t take parcels in for your neighbours. You are, quite clearly, not to be trusted. This whole scenario would make a great mini-series, with you as the villainess. However, if you thought it could make you money, you would probably steal the props and flog them, wouldn’t you?
Even now, you have never telephoned, nor written, to either apologise or explain. Not that you could possibly do that. Just because, in your eyes, I had the audacity to go back to my own house. Well, imagine that! How dare I, indeed!

My doorbell rang yesterday morning. There was a chap outside with a large parcel wrapped up in bubble plastic. It was for my next door neighbour. I agreed to take it in and put it behind my front door. I assumed the driver had dropped a card in my neighbour’s house, telling him that his parcel had been left with me. Due to the light snow, I had to put on my boots, with ice-grips, to go and pop a note through his door, telling him that I had his parcel. He came over a while later and said that the simpleton (my word, not his) hadn’t even left a card telling him about the parcel and where it was. Now, imagine if you had taken in his parcel. You would have kept the £400 computer and told yourself, well, he’ll get the money back from his insurance company! I told him all about you and your shenanigans: your thieving and lying.

I refuse to sign this because you will probably try to use my signature to perpetrate a crime, thanks to your twisted mind. You really are quite evil and extremely nasty with it, a very, wicked, dangerous, old woman, in fact. What else would you like me to tell you? Oh, well, I’ll accept that you made a mistake then?

My advice to you? Never, ever, tell your children, grandchildren or anyone else, for that matter, not to tell lies. How can you look them in the face and tell them that, knowing what a lying wretch you are? Even your conscience will tell you that you, alone, are the sole champion of that ability!

Enjoy Christmas.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Who wrote the letter - you or the other person?


I have written the letter with the intention of dropping it off to her (without seeing her). I just want her to know that my memory has improved and that I know everything she did while pretending to be my friend. How did you manage to read the letter that quickly. Are you a speed reader?

Ben Jones :

Ha, haven't quite read it all yet, I just wanted to understand the situation before I dived in to read it. I presume you will just send it to her?


Yes, indeed!

Ben Jones :

ok even without reading the whole letter I can tell you that this will not be defamation because to amount to defamation something has to be made sufficiently public. We are talking sending it as a mailshot, publishing it in a newspaper, uploading it to a website, etc. (don't worry about putting it here, we can remove it if necessary so it cannot be viewed by anyone). If you are only sending it to her then this is not defamation even if its contents are not something she agrees with.

Ben Jones :

If she disagrees with the contents then so be it - it is not defamaiton if this was just correspondence between you

Ben Jones :

It is unlikely you can be sued for this


Phew! Thanks a million Ben. You are a good egg (and a knowledgeable one too!). Toodle pip!

Ben Jones :

she may threaten every type of legal action under the Sun but it does not mean she can go ahead and sue you - the courts only allow certain claims that are relevant to the circumstances and defamation is not something that can be pursued here. Also good luck to her funding such a claim - we are looking at thousands to get anywhere near the Courts, it is a very complex and expensive area of law.

Ben Jones and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

For Ben Jones.


Thank you very much for the advice given yesterday. I feel contented and satisfied that I am not breaking any law. Thank you again.

You are welcome, all the best