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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71132
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi - the company I work for has a disgruntled ex customer who

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Hi - the company I work for has a disgruntled ex customer who has set up an blog - on a mission to ruin the reputation of the company. Fair enough in the times that we live. This blogger has however got a hold of my name and has now launched a sustained attack on me personally (with absolutely no substance - I have never met the guy). The venom has increased over the last 2 months - he i snow blogging that I am a fraudster - he has reported me to the police and is awaiting a magistrate to issue an arrest warrant. My reputation and name are now all over the internet as bad news. my employer tells me to "keep my head down" but this is impacting on me and my family personally.
I think I could try to sue for defamation - the blogger is a bankrupt has no cash - is nearly 70 - the Blog is his hobby - and I have no doubt that the rail would be "by internet". Is an harassment case any more straightforward?

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

How long has this been going on for please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

the Blog has been online for circa 24 months or more - has been a more general attack on the Company I work for.


I have been mentioned a few times but the current - get me arrested tack has been for approx the last 3 months. The Blog is updated with "new" material on a weekly basis


I am off work with stress - my family are in bits and I am seemingly powerless


What type of things are being said? You are anonymise anything by using XXXes.

I'm just travelling home but I will be clear in about an hour if thats OK?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

that I am a liar - a fraudster and that I use shady practices (which are all nonsense - absolutely no proof whatsoever)


The fact that the latest posting states that the Blogger has been to the local Magistrates court - lodged an Affadvait and expects the Magistrate to issue a warrant for my arrest - has spooked me a bit. I have spoken to my Company lawyer who assures me this is a nonsense - but he is looking at it from a Company stance - not personally to me.


time - not a problem - thanks

Thanks for that.

These comments may be defamatory. Defamation takes two forms. One is slander which covers the spoken word. The other is libel which covers the written.

You have to prove that the words are defamatory, that they would be understood to refer to you and that they have been published to a 3rd party.

Comments made directly to a person about themselves are not published and so cannot be defamatory however bad or untrue they are. If such contact were to continue it might amount to harassment.

There is no set definition of defamation. A statement is likely to be considered defamatory if it tends to do anyone of the following.

1 lower the claimant in the estimation of right minded members of society

2 disparage the claimant in his business, trade, office or profession

3 expose the claimant to hatred, ridicule or contempt or

4 cause the claimant to be shunned or avoided

An opinion, however, is not generally defamatory. People are entitled to an opinion under the human rights act and, indeed, under the common law generally. However, a person cannot hide behind the argument that a defamatory comment is just an opinion. For instance, if the person were to say “in my opinion, X is a liar with 15 convictions for theft" then that would be defamatory unless it were true. The opinion must be fair with some basis for it. It must be shown that it was a reasonable comments in all the circumstances.

Similarly, foul abuse is not defamatory although there might be other actions open to an aggrieved person.

Truth is a defence to defamation. The defendant would have to prove that it was the truth and that is reasonably hard to do so this defence is not often relied upon.

The real difficulty with defamation actions though is that they are very expensive. Unfortunately they are the domain of the very rich. That is not to say that you couldn't send a letter from a local solicitor for reasonable cost warning this person of the laws of libel and slander.

Also, you may want to consider other alternatives. This may amount to harassment which you can report to the police or sue at the civil courts much more economically. It might also be a malicious communication and you can report that to the police.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need any more information.

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