new UK internet libel decision

A chatroom spat turned expensive for Tracy Williams, a college lecturer from Oldham, Greater Manchester, after she lost a libel case brought against her by Michael Keith-Smith in the High Court. The Court heard that Williams described Keith-Smith as "lard brain", "Nazi", a "racist bigot" and a "nonce". The High Court ordered Williams to pay £10,000 in damages as well as £7,200 in costs to Keith-Smith (from The Guardian). Mr. Keith Smith reportedly settled out of court for a sum of around £30,000 with a second, unnambed defendant.

The case is interesting because instead of going after the website owner yahoo, an obvious target as publisher and an even more obvious target due to the reported size of it’s bank accounts, the claimant instead sued the person posting the defamatory statements. Well done Mr. Keith-Smith for making the person who wrote the post take responsibility for it.


  1. Not expensive at all. Expensive for Michael Keith Smith though as he isn’t able to recover a single penny of either costs or the award. Indeed I encouraged Smith all the way with his farcial libel case, the more money he spent suing me the more fun I had.
    Don’t believe all you read. The information given to the press was given by Smith alone, as I couldn’t be bothered with his libel claim at all. I only knew it had gone to court when the BBC telephoned me after the out come and asked rather gleefully if I had indeed referred to Smith has ‘Lard brain’. It is said the case is only well know for its fun value I have to agree, it has been nothing but fun, fun, fun.

  2. Well what can I say, Mr Smith is not as clever as he thinks he is and I’m sure the allegations have some foundation, no smoke without fire I say. And he obviously had a real guilt complex about such allegations to go so far as spend all this money over something he’s saying is untrue. Maybe Mr Smith should take such things with a pinch of salt if they have no foundation. Its my opinion that all this says to me is the rich corrupt can buy cleanliness. Or maybe he should get a good locksmith to keep that closet shut.

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