Solicitor wins libel and harassment case

£19,000 damages for 2-year campaign by former client

Brighton solicitor, Martin Cray, was today awarded total damages of £19,000 by the High Court in London against a former client, Anthony Hancock, who was found to have conducted a 2-year campaign of harassment against him.


The judgment came after a 4-day trial before His Honour John Previté QC which had heard that Mr Hancock, a printer, of Rigden Road, Hove, had become disgruntled with the way in which a dispute with a bathroom company had been handled by Mr Cray’s firm.


A libel claim had been brought over two letters sent by Mr Hancock in July 2003 which the Court found alleged, falsely, that Mr Cray had been dishonestly overcharging Mr Hancock and his wife in relation to their bathroom dispute. Despite commencement of proceedings, Mr Hancock was found by the Court to have conducted a two-year campaign of harassment against Mr Cray by sending letters and e-mails and through numerous anonymous posts on websites and Internet forums.


Mr Hancock and his wife had made a counterclaim for negligence against Mr Cray for his handling of the bathroom dispute.


Granting the Claimant injunctions to prevent further libels and harassment, the Judge said that the campaign had been “extremely hurtful and damaging”.


The Court dismissed the counterclaim for libel and Mr Cray was granted indemnity costs on the claim and counterclaim. Mr Hancock, who was refused permission to appeal, was ordered to pay the damages and £10,000 on account of costs within 28 days.


5RB‘s Matthew Nicklin and Sapna Jethani acted for Mr Cray.


Click here for the 5RB case report.