May 22 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, August 30, 2012
A councillor is suing his ex-landlady for allegedly posting abusive messages about him on the internet.
"“Comments that might have been spoken before the invention of the internet are now in a permanent form and are not forgotten so easily.
“The law of libel applies to anything that is written down and published to third parties. What people do not realise is that the internet has changed everything and that you should not write and publish comments on a public forum without thinking through what the consequences will be.”
Costessey parish councillor Gary Blundell claims property consultant Heidi Roberts called him a “liar” and claimed he was a benefit cheat, who lived in squalor, according to documents filed at the High Court in London.
The father-of-five lived in Sir Alfred Munnings Road in Queen’s Hills with his wife in a home rented to him by Heidi Roberts from December 2007 to October 2011.
Mr Blundell, who helped organise this year’s diamond jubilee celebrations at Queen’s Hills, is suing Mrs Roberts for up to £50,000 for the comments she allegedly made about him on social networking site, Facebook.
Mrs Roberts, who runs property firm Heidi Roberts Property, made the comments on the Queen’s Hill chat forum group, which included a warning to other landlords that one of her tenants owed thousands in rent, his home was dirty and his children had drawn all over the walls.
Court documents served on Mrs Roberts by Mr Blundell’s solicitors, GMS Law, claim the landlady’s comments, posted in August last year, were “particularly hurtful as they touched upon the claimant’s family and family life, and invited ridicule and contempt upon the claimant”.
The claim form said Mr Blundell’s reputation was damaged and he suffered “considerable embarrassment and hurt”.
The comments also sparked a response from other people on the site who wrote abusive messages, which Mr Blundell said referred to him.
When asked to apologise to Mr Blundell, Mrs Roberts, denied the words referred to Mr Blundell.
She later said the words did refer to him, but claimed they were true.
Mrs Roberts declined to comment to the Evening News yesterday.