A man just won £10,000 for defamatory remarks made against him. Nothing unusual, except that this was on a bulletin board... First case in the UK.
Mr Smith, a chartered surveyor, said Ms Williams' initially "innocent enough" views hardened after they expressed vastly different opinions over the Iraq war. Together with another chatroom user, who settled for £12,500 out of court with Mr Smith, they began a campaign of words against him and his family.
"That is when it started getting out of control. I was called a lard brain and a sex offender and my wife was called a prostitute," Mr Smith said.
Believing he had been libelled, Mr Smith and his solicitors obtained a court order to force the telecommunications company NTL to hand over Ms Williams' personal details. When she failed to provide a defence, they obtained a summary judgment.The judge said Ms Williams must not repeat the defamatory remarks, or in any way suggest Mr Smith is a sexual offender, a sexual deviant, a Nazi or a racist or having any such tendencies.