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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 61658
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I was on a job today working in my job as a maintenance

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I was on a job today working in my job as a maintenance electrician. I was carrying out a repair in a leisure centre which is attached to a school. The leisure centre gave me authorisation to carry out the work however, while carrying out the work the school head teacher told me to stop and I could no longer continue. I stopped and told the manager of the leisure centre what had happened and he spoke to the head teacher. It was during this conversation that the head teacher has falsely accused me of watching school children taking part in sports near where I was working. As he has said this to a client of my employer I believe that this could cause me problems and I feel if possible, I need to take action against the head teacher of the school who made the accusation. What would your advice on this be
Assistant: Have you discussed the accusation with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: No
Assistant: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: Employee
Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: That’s all thanks

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thanks

So what was this allegation based on exactly?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
No idea, I was carrying out work on a door in the leisure centre and I was asked to stop and I did. The accusation has been made when he was speaking to the duty manager. I was facing away from the school so I have no idea where it has come from.

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. Whilst this may appear to be a potential case of defamation (this includes libel if it is in written form, or slander if it is in oral form), such claims are rather tricky to pursue. Many people are keen on suing for defamation without having full appreciation of the law or practicalities in doing so. I will try and clarify the position below.

First of all, certain conditions must be met for the statement to be classified as defamatory. These are:

1. There has to be a defamatory statement - the assessment that is often used to establish this is whether the statement tends to lower the claimant in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally

2. Its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant – this will vary based on what effect it will have but it really has to be something sufficiently serious

3. The statement has been published by the defendant to a third party

4. The claimant must prove that the words complained of were published about him - this should not be an issue if the claimant is named or clearly identified.

Whilst it may be easy to prove that defamation has taken place, the legal process of pursuing such a claim is often complex and prohibitively expensive. A claim must be made in the High Court and will likely require the help of professional defamation lawyers, so the costs will often be high right from the outset, usually in the thousands. There is also no legal aid available for such claims so the complainant must fund these personally.

You must also consider whether the publisher of the statement can potentially defend the claim. For example, this can happen by proving the statement was true or an honest opinion which could have been made based on the available facts.

Instead of starting legal proceedings it would be best to contact the publisher of the comment, advise them that what they have done amounts to defamation and that you will consider pursuing the matter further if they do not retract their statement and issue an apology. This could prompt them to reconsider their position, which would avoid the need for court action. Of course, if they refuse to comply the option of suing still exists, but consider the above information before going down that route.

Does this answer your query?

My response to your query should be visible on this page. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question or whether you need me to clarify anything else in relation to it? If your query has been answered I would be grateful if you could please take a second to confirm this by replying on here. Thank you

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question? You can simply reply on here with a quick ‘Yes, thanks’ and I won’t bother you again. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thanks for your reply. This has cleared up where I stand and the options available to me at the moment.

All the best