Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/05/21/friends_reunited_user_in_libel/

Friends Reunited user in libel payout

Ex-Teacher dismisses award as 'peanuts'

By John Leyden

Posted in Media, 21st May 2002 20:22 GMT

A retired teacher has won damages for defamatory comments posted on the Friends Reunited Web site.

Jim Murray, 68, took former pupil Jonathan Spencer to Lincoln County Court over his remarks, where Spencer was ordered to pay £1,250 damages and £150 costs. The assessment follows Murray's victory in the case, which is rare because publishers not individuals are normally sued for libel, in February.

Murray described the award as "peanuts", and went on to criticise Friends Reunited as a forum that allowed false and defamatory messages to be posted in the first place.

Spencer, a teacher in Gateshead, posted comments claiming Murray had been dismissed after "making rude remarks about girls" and "strangling" a pupil, the BBC reports. Friends Reunited pulled the comments after Murray learned of the damaging remarks from friends and complained to the site.

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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