Tommy Robinson + other big libel cases...

Dr Lobster*
Posts: 2038
Joined: Sat 30 Aug, 2003 20.14

so in the news today (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-57930901) if you haven't spotted it, Tommy Robinson has lost a high court libel battle, upshot, he will have find north of £500,000 to pay for costs and damages.

also, a few years ago Katie Hopkins had similar fate when she lost a court battle with Jack Monroe where she had to find about £300,000.

what I want to know is just how that works, most "normal" people won't have that kind of cash laying around, maybe a proportion of it in their house (if they are lucky), so what really happens in these cases?

surely some people are repaying sums like this back for ever? would the court system ultimately make you sell all your worldly possessions (so you are effectively homeless and penniless) and keep paying until every penny of the dept is repaid, or you die?

or are there clever ways to escape?

and do you know anybody personally something like this has happened to?

not saying for a second that what either of those two did was right, it was pretty stupid and idiotic, but it seems an incredibly harsh punishment - a life sentence for many even - when many more serious crimes have significantly less financial implications for perpetrator.
User avatar
Sput
Posts: 7503
Joined: Wed 20 Aug, 2003 19.57

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.indepe ... html%3Famp

I think he’s been alright for cash. A couple of years ago there were also reports of some of the far right groups in the US helping him out. There’s a whole weird web of money out there for someone interested in stoking division.

(Unless that someone is obsessed with tv forum)
Knight knight
allwillbewell
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue 06 Apr, 2021 09.02

I understood from today that he was going bankrupt as he cannot pay it.
All views are my own
Laura-1
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue 06 Jul, 2021 22.08

Tommy Robinson speaks crap 90% of the time, although he is also pretty clever, if he's bankrupt it's because he chose to be.

To be fair, Robinson claims the boy attacked girls at his school and other English students, someone posted a video on Twitter that shows Robinson talking to a teacher from the school and a few other witnesses.

It would be easy for Robinson and the women or guys he works with to fabricate such a story, however if the kid actually did attack girls and English students in his school - the legal system in this country would be a complete joke.

I think he went to jail for naming 2 guys who raped an 18 year old girl, as a woman I think it's disgusting that a rapist can have their identity kept hidden, no matter whether it's an English rapist or a Muslim rapist, these things do need looking into and he seems to be the only one who was bothered about it at the time, if it wasn't a racist twirp writing about it a respectable journalist would have been thanked for bringing it to the attention, unfortunately for Tommy, whatever he does people will assume it's for racist reasons and the way he speaks kind of has that written all over it.

Last I heard he had moved to Spain, shame he couldn't take a lot of his fans with him.
User avatar
Sput
Posts: 7503
Joined: Wed 20 Aug, 2003 19.57

That’s not true Laura. Anybody publicly naming the defendants under those circumstances would be guilty of contempt of court because it would potentially derail the multiple trials going on at the time. That’s why real journalists don’t.

I’m curious though. What is the 10 percent that’s not crap? Because everything I’ve heard is argue or in the service of being awful.
Knight knight
Martin Phillp
Posts: 1123
Joined: Wed 11 May, 2011 01.28

Yaxley-Lennon is Islamophobic, end of. Whatever way he polishes it, it's hatred of people that aren't like him.
TVF's London Lite.
Dr Lobster*
Posts: 2038
Joined: Sat 30 Aug, 2003 20.14

Laura-1 wrote: Fri 23 Jul, 2021 19.04 Tommy Robinson speaks crap 90% of the time, although he is also pretty clever, if he's bankrupt it's because he chose to be.
I think Tommy Robinson is a throughly unpleasant piece of work, not sure I'd describe him as clever - although I would agree, he would have anticipated the verdict and taken steps to hide is wealth and if he has connections overseas it will make his assets harder to trace and be recovered - it might even be impossible.

The problem with my formulation of the original question is the two particular example cases, the characters involved just aren't very nice and most people don't have any sympathy with them - I certainly don't.

but that said, it is very hard to see how in Robinsons' case it's possible for the appellant to ring up half a million quid in legal costs, and then to see how £100,000 of damages is calculated, and on what basis. I accept that big sums of money are justified in some cases, such as in miscarriages of justice, and high legal costs when for example, expensive professional experts and reports are needed, but this case, it seems, on the face of it, pretty simple and Robinson failed at the first hurdle of even proving his allegation was substantially true.

Laura-1 wrote: Fri 23 Jul, 2021 19.04 as a woman I think it's disgusting that a rapist can have their identity kept hidden, no matter whether it's an English rapist or a Muslim rapist
I can't think of many cases where a convicted rapist hasn't been named - and it's not for Robinson to be judge and jury - I certainly wouldn't have a great deal of faith in the robustness of any of his claims about anything - particularly in a serious crime such as rape where even our justice system where there are many more qualified and trained seldom get it right.
Joe
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed 31 Mar, 2021 20.15

Laura-1 wrote: Fri 23 Jul, 2021 19.04whether it's an English rapist or a Muslim rapist,
What if it’s an English, Muslim rapist?
User avatar
WillPS
Posts: 2151
Joined: Tue 22 Apr, 2008 18.32
Location: Carlton
Contact:

Laura-1 wrote: Fri 23 Jul, 2021 19.04 Tommy Robinson speaks crap 90% of the time, although he is also pretty clever, if he's bankrupt it's because he chose to be.

To be fair, Robinson claims the boy attacked girls at his school and other English students, someone posted a video on Twitter that shows Robinson talking to a teacher from the school and a few other witnesses.

It would be easy for Robinson and the women or guys he works with to fabricate such a story, however if the kid actually did attack girls and English students in his school - the legal system in this country would be a complete joke.

I think he went to jail for naming 2 guys who raped an 18 year old girl, as a woman I think it's disgusting that a rapist can have their identity kept hidden, no matter whether it's an English rapist or a Muslim rapist, these things do need looking into and he seems to be the only one who was bothered about it at the time, if it wasn't a racist twirp writing about it a respectable journalist would have been thanked for bringing it to the attention, unfortunately for Tommy, whatever he does people will assume it's for racist reasons and the way he speaks kind of has that written all over it.

Last I heard he had moved to Spain, shame he couldn't take a lot of his fans with him.
The shyster makes these emotive allegations because they cause people to suspend their critical faculties. This is a technique used to make his extreme views more palatable to a less extreme audience such as yourself, and it's super important to be aware of that.

The technique doesn't work in a correctly-functioning court of law, though, where the facts are calmly examined at whatever length is needed.

The man is a hater and a liar and he has been found out.
Image
User avatar
Pete
Posts: 7375
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 13.36
Location: Dundee

So can I just say I don't particularly want this thread going down a certain route. So we've had an off tangent discussion but if we can stick to Lobster's original question in future replies it'd be appreciated.
"He has to be larger than bacon"
User avatar
rdobbie
Posts: 268
Joined: Thu 08 Jul, 2004 18.12

Going back to Lobster's original question, I think defamation lawyers do a fair amount of digging on the wealth of their target and then tailor their claim accordingly.

About 18 years ago I was a "domain name consumer activist". I had a genuine grievance with a global oil company regarding failings with their loyalty card scheme. I bought a URL with the .com suffix (instead of .co.uk which they used), turned it into a moan/protest website, and it all went mental. I had emails from BBC News, Sky News, Channel 4 News, The Independent and I did a few interviews. The traffic to the site increased accordingly.

The oil company in question offered me a handsome sum of money for control of the domain name, which I accepted. The whole thing had been fairly passive on my part – I was just a kid, a chancer. Looking back, I could probably have pushed them for more money.

I repeated the exercise soon afterwards with a solicitors firm who I'd engaged to do the conveyancing on a house I bought (they massively buggered it all up - to cut a long story short, they were grossly negligent, lazy, arrogant and left me out of pocket).

However, the solicitors firm took a different approach to the aforementioned oil company. Instead of trying to pay me off, they issued libel proceedings against me.

The sinister part of it was that their claim for damages on the court documents was £60k. They'd done my conveyancing, so they knew that the equity I carried over from house A to house B was almost exactly £60k. What a remarkable coincidence!

It never went to court in the end - it was all a bluff on their part to intimidate me into handing over the domain name.

But I think there's something disingenuous about the way that lawyers choose a magical figure for damages before the case even gets to court. It seems to be based on research into their target.

Damages should be measured in terms of the harm caused to the innocent party, rather than the maximum amount that can be potentially screwed from the defendant.
Please Respond