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Facebook faker ordered to pay thousands in libel damages

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The High Court has today ordered a man who concocted a Facebook account to attack a former school friend to pay £22,000 in damages.

Grant Raphael had claimed strangers at an impromptu party had used his home computer to create a fake profile in the name of Mathew Firsht. Deputy Judge Richard Parkes QC described the story as "utterly far-fetched", the BBC reports.

The profile made false claims about Firsht's political views and sexual orientation, and exposed real personal details. It also said that he owed money and his company could not be trusted.

The allegations were live on Facebook for 16 days before being removed.

The court awarded Firsht £15,000 for personal libel and £2,000 for breach of privacy. His business was awarded £5,000 libel damages.

Firsht and Raphael had been friends after attending school together in Brighton. The court heard that they fell out about six years ago over a business dispute.

The judge said that by the time the Facebook prank was played "Mr Firsht was prospering and highly successful, and Mr Raphael was not". ®

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