Michael Dennis Clynes -v- Patricia O’Connor [2011] EWHC 1201

A rather spurious, and it was said disproportionate claim reached Mr Justice Eady in the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court on 13 May 2011.

The crux of this dispute was caused by a number of slanderous outbursts from the defendant to the claimant. Justice Eady said this: “Ms O’Connor hurled at him, groundlessly, what seem to have been the most insulting epithets that came into her head namely to the effect that he was a “wife beater”, a “drug dealer” and either (depending on which version is preferred) a “paedophile” or a “perv”. (It perhaps makes little difference, since her suggestion was that Mr Clynes was having CCTV cameras installed for the purpose of watching the children at play.) She denies, however, calling Mr Clynes an “English bastard”.

There were a number of adults and some children in the vicinity who heard the remarks.

The claimant had instructed a firm to install CCTV. The workman was fitting the CCTV and noticed that there was a group of children playing near the ladder the workman asked the claimant to move the children on. The claimant went over to the defendant’s house where it was agreed that the claimant either ruffled the defendant’s child’s hair or pushed the child it was at that point the defendant “saw red”.

The court ordered in favour of the claimant ordering the defendant to pay £1500.

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