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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71134
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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An ex employee is spreading slanderous gossip and libeous texts

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An ex employee is spreading slanderous gossip and libeous texts about me.
What can i do?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
How can I help with this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I need to know what I can do about a recently ex employee who send me a lengthy and unpleasant text message containing untrue accusations. I have learnt today that she has been showing this to many other people in the town where I live.
To whom has she sent this?
What does it say?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She sent it to me and copied in my mum and aunt. But she has either sent it on to others (I don't know who) or has shown them on her phone.
It goes on and on about what an unfair lazy person I am but also says if I stopped getting drunk and "hanging out" with drug dealers, maybe I would do better!! (Paraphrasing but those terms were used). I have the message on a temp phone that I am no longer using - had it whilst mine was being repaired
What sort of work do you do?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have a small cafe and a small gift/toy shop. She worked p/t in both and was leaving to go elsewhere but was going to stay 1 day per week. Suffice to say she is not with me any longer
Does she have any money? Is she worth suing?
Can you afford an action?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No, she has an old car and lives in someone's apare room...!
I don't have money to throw around but I don't want her to continue to do this either
In theory there is a case against her in defamation but it not really an accessible action for most people and also she is not worth suing if she has no money.
If you just want her to stop then your options are more sensible.
Ultimately there is no way of preventing a person from saying something defamatory. People cannot be censored in advance. There are ways of encouraging them to do so though.
A solicitor's letter warning her of the laws of defamation would probably cost about £50 - £100 plus VAT and very often does have the desired effect.
If she carried on then, in principle, you could sue for harassment which is cheaper but it still cost several thousand.
I suppose you could argue it is a malicious communication as well which is criminal but it is very unlikely the police would be interested I'm afraid. Far too busy mediating domestic rows to deal with any proper crime in the UK.
You could get a solicitor to write to her warning her of the risk of prosecution though.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Would a solicitors letter be sufficient to make her think twice about what she has done? Would it be stern enough?
Yes, usually they are written fairly forcefully.
Whether it works or not depends on the type of character she is and whether she takes it seriously. I have to say that I am always surprised at how effective they are.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She is a strange person. Very aggressive and angry. She doesn't seem to have many friends and this may be because of this? I think her bark is probably worse than her bite but I think she could be a candidate for mental health problems in the future....?
Yes, accusers are dangerous in my opinion.
People would do well to avoid them.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I suppose it could be worth a try
At the very least you will have denied the allegations as soon as made.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Who could i request write this letter for me? Is this a service you/your organisation could provide?
No, but you can use a barrister under public access. It is probably cheaper than a solicitor.
Try here