A retired dentist and his partner have won a website libel fight after becoming involved in a dispute over land in a Cumbrian village.
Dr Richard Wozniak and Bridget Kelly, who had retired to Cumbria and bought a house in Rosgill six years ago, sued villager Chloe Randall.
Ms Randall had fought the libel claim, but Mr Justice Soole has ruled in the couple’s favour and awarded them a total of £15,000 damages.
The judge published a decision after considering evidence at a High Court hearing earlier this year. He said the libel action arose out of a dispute relating to ownership of a parcel of land in Rosgill.
The dispute had resulted in “very significant friction”, the judge said.
Ms Randall operated a local website called Concerned Of Rosgill and had been sued over articles posted on the site in 2019.
Mr Justice Soole said the “centrepiece” article had read: “Isn’t this charming? The offensive individuals at the top of the hill are now attacking medical staff trying to visit their seriously ill patients! Just how low can they stoop in their spiteful campaign to steal a piece of land?”
“Liars, thieves and bullies we know them to be; we know they have been brainwashing at least two vulnerable elderly village characters into further confusion and bewilderment. Now they are threatening the vital carer network. Shame on them!”
He said that article “evidently contains serious defamatory allegations”.