Author Topic: Online news editor ordered to pay RSPCA $100K for defamation  (Read 5081 times)

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Online news editor ordered to pay RSPCA $100K for defamation
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2011, 01:52:43 PM »
THE editor of an online newsletter has been ordered to pay $100,000 in defamation damages to the RSPCA after claiming it was cruel and had needlessly destroyed animals.

Mal Davies, the editor of SOS-News, was ordered by Justice Megan Latham in the NSW Supreme Court to pay damages for an article on March 19 this year.

Mr Davies took no part in the proceedings. The RSPCA had sued him claiming the article contained six false defamatory meanings.

The article referred to a farmer, Ruth Downey, 78, failing to get special leave to mount a High Court challenge in relation to animal cruelty charges. The defamatory meanings included that RSPCA NSW was a cruel organisation in that it executed healthy cows for no reason and that it had killed Ms Downey's cows in an inhumane way.

The judge said claims the RSPCA had acted cruelly and for significant financial benefits of its directors, rather than for its stated objectives, clearly had the tendency to lower the organisation's reputation.

Justice Latham also made orders including that Mr Davies be restrained from publishing any matter to the same effect as the original article.