High Court dismisses vindictive and fabricated slander claim



Rayner v Seabourne-Hawkins [2020] EWHC 2895 (QB)

This case concerned an action for slander brought by the Claimant alleging that the Defendant falsely accused him of sexual assault (“the First Slander”) and being investigated for interfering with young girls (“the Second Slander”). The Claimant claimed that he had a job offer at a florist shop rescinded as a result of the First Slander.

On the morning of the second day of trial, the Claimant abandoned the Second Slander claim, as in evidence both the alleged publisher and publishee denied that the words alleged were spoken.

Nicklin J dismissed the First Slander claim, finding that the Claimant invented the allegation and sought to manufacture evidence of the lost job. He found that there was evidence that the Claimant was “out to get” the Defendant, and bringing the slander action was consistent with other vindictive behaviour displayed by the Claimant.

Emma Foubister was instructed by RM Legal Solutions LLP for the Defendant.