Warrick Fentiman v. Richard Marsh

Rugved MahamuniCase Summary

Defamation suit for allegations of launching a cyber attack

Warrick Fentiman v. Richard Marsh
[2019] EWHC 2099 (QB)
In the High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, Media and Communications List
Case Number HQ18M00961
Before Deputy Judge Richard Spearman
Decided on July 31, 2019

Relevancy of the Case: Defamation suit for allegations of launching a cyber attack

Statutes and Provisions Involved

  • The Defamation Act 2013 (Section 1)

Relevant Facts of the Case

  • The claimant is the CEO of Specialist Hygiene Limited (SHS). In August 2015, SHS filed a suit against the defendant for defamation, breach of contract, and confidence. Instead of court proceedings, the defendant undertook a consent order to not publish any information regarding SHS.
  • However, the defendant published three online blogs alleging that the claimant carried out a cyber attack on a website and his social media profiles.
  • The claimant found parts of these blog articles defamatory. The claimant seeks to retrain the defendant from further posting defamatory material online.

Prominent Arguments by the Counsels

  • The claimant’s counsel submitted that the defendant has refused to retract or apologise. His allegations directly impact the claimant’s reputation. Thus, there is an increasing need for an award for damages.
  • The defendant’s counsel submitted that the claimant has not sued the defendant on numerous other allegations, which are very serious in nature but true. Moreover, the defendant was discussing the issue with his lawyers for bringing criminal charges against the claimant.

Opinion of the Bench

  • The defendant should have regard to orders passed by the court, such as the Consent Order.
  • Considering how the defendant has conducted proceedings in this case, there is a threat of risk of repetition that requires an injunction to prevent it.

Final Decision

  • The court granted an injunction in the claimant’s favour and damages amounting to £55,000.