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Twitter row goes to court, beak says man must cough £17,500

And say he's sorry. On Twitter of course

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A Twitter user has been ordered to delete tweets, tweet an apology and pay £7,500 to another Twitter user in a judgment handed down by the High Court of Justice, Leeds Queens Bench Division last week.

Judge Gosnell ordered Toby Pedley to delete all tweets relating to racing boss Carl Harris and his partner, and to pay a hefty sum in damages. Pedley must pay Harris £7,500 in damages and £10,000 in legal costs. Pedley also has to post a correction and apology to Harris on his Twitter account @THFCP1980 by 4pm on the 28 February.

The court order, approved by Gosnell on 8 February, prohibits Pedley from tweeting certain things about Harris in future. The order stipulates:

... words to like or similar effect concerning the Defendant, namely bearing the meaning that the Defendant has engaged, directly or indirectly, in corrupt practices in racing, is dishonest, untrustworthy or unethical ...

The expensive Twitter legal spat started on 27 July when Pedley initiated legal proceedings by suing Harris for libel based on tweets from an anonymous account. Pedley claimed the tweets affected his ability to work in the racing industry, and asked for £570,000 in damages from Harris.

On 10 August, Harris and his solicitors Harrowells brought a counter-claim against Pedley. Judge Gosnell dismissed the claim brought by Pedley but has ruled in favour of Harris on the counter-claim and issued this court order.

It is understood that Pedley will seek to appeal against the decision. ®

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