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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71041
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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A gentleman in our village has made my life unpleasant by saying

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A gentleman in our village has made my life unpleasant by saying untrue things about me, and spreading harmful gossip. He has been working in conjunction with others but he is the one who links all. This came to a head when he distributed a very unpleasant and untrue letter about me around the small village where |I live. I am also informed that he has been completely unpleasant about me in the local pub, and I understand upset local residents.. At one point I had a very unpleasant encounter with a villager who threatened me with a walking stick, citing things about me that were totally untrue.

I tried to resolve this privately by writing to him and asking for a public apology. When that failed I used a solicitor but although certain concessions were made he still refused to offer a full without strings public apology. He refused mediation unless it was in London and I met all costs which I could not afford.

The gentleman in question is a parish councillor and he signed the letter as a parish councillor. I therefore put in a formal complaint which was investigated by an independent person who found that the letter was untrue, that he had not discussed it with me and recommended an apology be issued and sent to his Parish council. He considered the matter. the standards officer at the local authority spent much time with him and even offered local mediation organised by the council. He refused.

The matter then went to a parish council meeting where he was censured and told he must ensure that his behaviour in future was according to their code, the chairman expressed the hope that this would be the end of the mater and I was wiling to accept that and at that stage I left the meeting. sadly however it was not to be because I was told that as the gentleman resumed his seat he asked to add that respect must be earned, I was also told that he had recorded the meeting covertly.

At the following meeting he twice tried to raise the matter again. Nothing that has happened to dare has stopped him and I live in constant fear of meeting him or of what he might next do. I have fibromyalgia and this matter with the distress it is causing is causing my condition to worsen. I must stop it.

I finally wrote privately to the gentleman trying to address what he said and what I though he might be 'holding against me' and telling him the truth. I gave him one month to met with me and have heard nothing. I said that if I had not heard I would seek an injunction to stop him. Now I need help please

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

What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I want to know if you think an injunction would be possible to solve this and if you think it would be likely to succeed. If not how else do you think I could go forward.

When you say unpleasant, what has he actually said?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

In the letter he indicated that I am an unwelcome person in the village, from what has been relayed to me he has told numerous lies abut me, he has shouted at me from a car, he has indicated that I do not deserve respect but I am unsure why, and when I do chance to meet him I am frightened of what he might say. This fear is horrible to live with; I am not normally someone who reacts like this but this on going fear is taking its toll. I just do not know what he will do next.


For your information I am a trained neighbourhood mediator and that would have been my means of choice to address this but with him completely refusing I am at a loss to know what to do next.

What lies exactly?

I'm just trying to see whether there is any case against him. Obviously people are free to be unpleasant unless they actually defame another.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It is for exactly this reason that| I have approached you. I really needed to try to stop this, and the accompanying fear of meeting him. If you have any other suggestions I would be most grateful I had thought if sending a personal letter asking him to desist but I think that he nay decide if I did that to go ahead with more to provoke me.

The lettre I felt was both defamatory and slanderous but the local authority did not have in its power to address this.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

How do I rate your answer please?

Would it be possible to tell me why you think it was defamatory? What was said that amounts to a defamation?

You won't be able to rate until I answer.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The letter mentions me at the beginning as giving the impression that I was involved in the talk


Iyt later went on to say


In future it is requested that anybody proposing to advertise anything relating to Winstone first contacts the organiser....... to prevent future issues as well as it being generally well mannered and courteous to do this.


' please also bear in mind when you raced your newsletter that the articles may not be correct and may have ben added by unwelcome persons. It is a pity that your editor does not feel that there was any issue with the article by Anne and felt that he did not need to print the letter clarifiying the issue that I sent to him despite the fact hat it was bought to my attention by an irritated member of your village who felt that they were unable to attend even though they had asked permission from the organisers due to who had posted the invite and implied through the advertisement that they had been involved.,


I actually throughout this had the full support of the organisers whose mail I forwarded and were horrified at what had transpired


I should perhaps have added that it only appeared in one newsletter and that this actually came out after the event!


I'm really sorry if I'm missing the point but I'm afraid I cannot see anything defamatory here.

Obviously he has been unpleasant about you in public and that is always distressing but people are free to say unpleasant things about people they don't like even if they are wildly wrong and to blame themselves.

What people cannot do is say something untrue amounting to defamation. Defamation is loosely defined but it means something that would reduce you in the minds of most reasonable people - e.g an allegation of dishonesty or sexual offences for instance.

He just seems to be saying things that are unpleasant and may be untrue but no reasonable person would think less of you as a result.

In any event, you can write to him asking him to stop. You don't need the support of the law to do that.

I'm afraid I cannot see a basis for an injunction though.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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