Harlequin wins libel case against Singing Pig forum

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    From OPP mag online 😯 :

    Harlequin Property won more than £90,000 in general damages and costs in London’s High Court this week after a three-year libel battle with the overseas property forum Singing Pig Limited and its owner, Philip Martin.

    The developer sued in relation to a series of “defamatory statements” that had been published on the Singing Pig website.

    Harlequin boss Dave Ames, speaking exclusively to OPP, said “I am really pleased with the verdict. I found some of the articles didn’t just criticise my company, they were personally abusive. After two or three years I just got fed up and decided that legal action was the only way to resolve the issue.”

    Posts had been taken down in the past at Harlequin’s request, says Ames, “and then we found similar posts being published on the site again.”

    Harlequin was represented at the hearing by London solicitors, Carter Ruck and by Barrister Jacob Dean of 5 Raymond Buildings. During his Judgment, the Judge made several observations about Philip Martin’s attitude and conduct leading up to the proceedings.

    The judge stated that one of Martin’s emails was a “cynical response and suggests an underlying purpose”.

    He went on to state that both the gravity of the libel and the extent of the publication on the Singing Pig website were serious and, for that reason, he had chosen to award damages at the higher end of the scale.

    The judge also commented in his judgment that there were no mitigating factors to justify a reduction in the damages and that the conduct of the defendants was regarded as an aggravating factor.

    “A key factor for me, at the end of the day,” Ames told OPP, “was that Singing Pig were not concerned about my own personal well-being or that of the company. It went too far and it just wasn’t funny.”

    Mr Martin has filed for bankruptcy and applied to have Singing Pig Limited struck off the register despite owing thousands and continuing to operate the Singing Pig website.

    I don’t know anything about Harlequin Property, but I do know about Carter Ruck. Odious as can be.

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