Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Libel case - further comment

Carmarthenshire County Council issued a further statement yesterday in relation to their costs of the libel action, which I am now liable to pay. I was asked for my views and comment from the local press and the story was published today and available on the Carmarthen Journal website. There is also an article on BBC Wales online here.

I would like to add some further comments;

Clearly I am shocked at the amount of money which has been spent on this case. But, there were three and a half months between the publication of Mr James' letter in July 2011 and the commencement of legal proceedings. During this time there were efforts made to resolve the matter without going to court,  litigation could have been avoided. After the Defence, and Mr James' counterclaim were issued at the beginning of 2012, any quick resolution became increasingly complex and unlikely.

I had made a simple complaint and only ever wanted recognition from Mr James that what he had said in the letter on the Madaxeman blog was inappropriate and incorrect. Financial damages were not important. I did not, of course, expect to lose my claim nor the counterclaim. I had never received a complaint about anything   published on my blog until the counterclaim was brought.

I believe that this was a miscarriage of justice and remain of the opinion that the judgement has potentially opened the floodgates for similar actions against others who publicly scrutinise and criticise their local authority, including the press.

As I have said, I am appealing the judgement and the Notice of Appeal will be filed with the Court of Appeal by the 28th June.

As for the £230,000 costs, I do not have the means to pay it. As a further consequence of the serious allegations made in the judgement, my insurance, which would have covered the council's legal costs, has now been revoked. This sum is on top of the £25,000 damages awarded to Mr James personally.


My earlier statement, made on the 15th March 2013, immediately after the judgement was handed down, can be seen here

2 comments:

madaxeman said...

My own thoughts on this can be found at http://wp.me/p1jRWZ-4Y

Anonymous said...

In case anyone can't get the above link to the Madaxeman blog to work, it can be accessed here