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Ex-teacher wins Friends Reunited libel case

Poster sued in Small Claims court

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A retired schoolteacher has won a libel case after a former pupil used the popular Friends Reunited web site to allege that he had been sacked.

When Jim Murray, 68, complained Friends Reunited removed the offending posting, but refused to apologise for the remarks made by Jonathan Spencer.

Instead, Mr Murray took his case against Mr Spencer to the small claims court – and won after he failed to turn-up.

The ex-teacher could walk away with as much as £5,000 in damages but claims that the prospect of a pay-out wasn't behind his actions.

"I didn't give 32 years' unblemished service in teaching for someone to do that to me," Mr Murray told the Doncaster Star.

"It's not the money, it's the principle that counts. I just want people to know that I was not sacked," he said.

A spokeswoman for Friends Reunited said that it takes abuse of the site "very seriously" and claims that instances such as this are "very rare".

"If we receive any report of an offending message, it is promptly removed from the site and we review it. On this occasion, we removed the message as soon as practicable after it was brought to our attention," she said.

Last year Friends Reunited suspended its bulletin boards after teachers complained that it was being used to post malicious comments by former pupils. ®

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