The Court of Appeal has ordered me to pay £3,628 to Rachel Riley after she lost the appeal in her libel case – because it reckons she ran up more costs in presenting her failed case than I did in winning mine.
In fairness, it could be said that she won two-thirds of her application to strike out all my defences (because two of them remain struck out). But the starting-point for the appeal is that I won it outright, because the third of those defences was the only thing that took up all of the court’s time.
I had done what I considered the chivalrous thing: suggested that we should simply write off all our costs and move on. It seemed to me that, having won the appeal and a third of the strike-out hearing, I would be more likely to benefit from a costs order than her.
But it seems Riley wasn’t happy with that. The millionaire was determined to wrench some money from the poverty-line blogger, any way she could manage.
The strategy seems clear: she still wants to run down my funds to make it impossible for me to take my own case to a trial – despite two years in which you have shown that you won’t allow her to achieve that.
Of course, I could choose not to pay. But then, it seems likely that she would call in the bailiffs while seeking an order from the court that my defence should be struck out unless I pay. I would have to spend more money than the costs order itself if I wanted to resist those moves.
It isn’t worth it, so I have instructed my solicitor to let her have the cash, if she’s that desperate for it. It’s still less than half the £7,500 she wanted earlier in the week.
The timing is unfortunate – I put it no stronger than that – because I am facing an expensive month.
My amended defence must go before the High Court on June 23, and this will take up an unavoidable amount of my legal team’s time. I don’t know how much this will cost.
So I have to return to my regular appeal. If you can spare it,
Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.
Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.
Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.
On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.
It would have been nice to be able to tell you that I had received money from Riley, but the size of the costs bill she submitted for the High Court hearing (inflated because it came from a price list that, in my opinion, was not relevant) made that impossible.
Once again, those of us who are poor have to try to accommodate the selfishness of those who are very rich.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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