In this case, the High Court ruled that the claimant, Jamal Hijazi, a Syrian teenager who was filmed being attacked at school has succeeded in his libel action against defendant Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, better known as Tommy Robinson.
After the video of the assault on the claimant went viral, the defendant claimed in two Facebook videos that the claimant was in fact the aggressor and made a series of allegations that he had been involved in and responsible for serious acts of violence and aggressive behaviour.
Held: At trial the defendant sought to defend the allegations as true. Mr Justice Nicklin ruled that he “fell woefully short” of doing so, and that the allegations were false and without foundation.
Given the seriousness of the allegations and the prominence with which they published, and the fact that the defendant persisted with them until trial, the Judge ruled that the sum of £100,000 in damages was required to vindicate and compensate the claimant.
The Judge also ordered an injunction to prevent the defendant repeating the same or similar allegations and that the defendant pay all the costs of the action.
Catrin Evans QC and Ian Helme were involved in this case.