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Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have been publicly humiliated in the Connaught, accused of

Customer Question

I have been publicly humiliated in the Connaught, accused of stealing a spoon.A security guard was called but he refused to look in my bag. I still have the stigma of being branded a thief hanging over me. Is there anything I can do?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

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

Who made this allegation and to whom?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

A waitress at the Connaught accused me of stealing a spoon. This is a two star Michelin restaurant in London, our bill was over £1000

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
To whom did she make that allegation?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Me, I was accused of stealing

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Other.
an answer would be good
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Other.
another con job I assume
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

not sure we are getting anywhere, I have been accused of stealing. What more do you need to know?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
The reason you are experiencing delay is that you keep posting and relisting before I have responded.

If the allegation was made directly to you and nobody else could hear then that is not actionable I'm afraid. Defamation only arises if there could be damage to your reputation. If the allegation was made to you alone then that is not made out.

You could write to them demanding an apology and they probably would agree in the interests of good business but unless there is some act of defamation this is not actionable Im afraid.

I'm very sorry.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The allegation was heard by other people. Sorry to seem impatient but I am really upset by this incident

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, the false allegation is very distressing and there are not many remedies. The law is really just becoming aware that some people actually do make false claims sometimes.

If it was overheard by others then you could try to bring a defamation claim. You need to be careful with that type of action. Its very expensive to bring. Under the new law you need to show 'serious damage' to your reputation. An allegation of theft can indeed amount to serious damage. Obviously I didn't hear the allegation so I don't know how it was made. If this is a very expensive spoon then that would offend.

I don't know what their defences would be. I suppose truth would not assist them. They could rely on fair comment just by showing it was a reasonable comment in the circumstances even if it was actually incorrect.