Huge bill as councillor sues for libel
Posted on November 30, 2007
A bitter row about a radio antenna has shattered the peace in this quiet cul-de-sac in Eaton Bray, and left a family of four facing a hefty court bill.
On Monday a parish councillor was awarded "significant" damages after a judge decided his neighbours had launched an unnecessary personal attack during a planning dispute.
Recorder Lance Ashworth QC ruled that Councillor Ric Brand, of Mill End Close, had been unfairly victimisedby neighbours Paul and Sandra Dear when he applied to put the amateur radio equipment up in his back garden.
A letter sent by the Dears to other homes on the road made a number of personal allegations which the judge said were "designed deliberately to damage Mr Brand in the eyes of others."
It is believed the ruling cost Mr and Mrs Dear around £10,000 in damages and another £10,000 in court costs.
After the ruling Mr Brand said he plans to give a large chunk of the money to charity.
The 61-year-old parish councillor added yesterday: "I sincerely wish it hadn't happened, I didn't want this.
"It really has been a most horrible time for us, but obviously you can't allow somebody just to assassinate someone's character.
"There's nothing I've got to hide, so it's a pretty sorry state of affairs. It's a situation where this guy and his wife have just turned on us."
Source: Dunstable Today
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