Tag Archives: Jane Heybroek

Newspapers distort libel case to make it seem that Rachel Riley is winning. She isn’t

How sad to see that the London Evening Standard (oh, and Mail Online, although this is less surprising) is incapable of reporting a simple judgment in an ongoing libel case properly!

The High Court, in the case of Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman v Jane Heybroek, has reached a judgment with regard to the meaning of the words that are at issue, and whether they are statements of fact or expressions of opinion.

And the Standard‘s interpretation of this judgment is arse-backwards.

“Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman win first round of libel battle” trumpets the headline – wrongly. The judgment was neutral. Nobody has won or lost anything.

But if any advantage were gained, This Writer would say it had to have gone to Ms Heybroek.

Here are her own comments:

Note her words [italics mine]: “This was a hearing we asked for in order to narrow down the claimants’ claims and, in my opinion, we have successfully done so.”

“Significantly, the Judge has found that the first meaning… and the italicised words in the second meaning… were statements of opinion. This is a potentially crucial development because statements of opinion are afforded a defence where the basis of the opinion is indicated, and an honest person could have held the opinion on the basis of facts existing at the time.”

Reference to the judgment on the court website Bailii shows that Ms Heybroek’s representative, Mr Helme, won more points than the claimants’. Consider the Judge’s agreement with him at paragraphs 61, 63, 72, 75, 77, 79, 81 and 83; and the Judge’s disagreement with the claimants’ representative, Mr Stables, at paragraphs 58, 59, and 65.

In brief, Ms Heybroek won her arguments that the words at issue were expressions of opinion rather than statements of fact. Whether they were defamatory was never likely to be in doubt – but of course that doesn’t mean that they were libellous. If they were statements of honest opinion, and the facts on which they were based were accurate to the best of her knowledge at the time, then they were not.

And it is to be noted that these are all secondary considerations; Ms Riley and Ms Oberman’s complaint is not about an article by a third party (the matter on which this judgment is made) but about whether Ms Heybroek libelled them by retweeting a link to it. Ms Heybroek states: “Note that this ruling on meanings is without prejudice to my contention that I am not liable for publication of the article by virtue of my re-tweeting a tweet containing a hyperlink to it. That issue remains to be determined, either at trial or before.”

So it seems clear that Ms Heybroek won far more than Ms Riley or Ms Oberman. But that information seems to have zoomed right over the head of whoever reported the case to the Standard and the Mail.

Far be it from me to attribute malign intentions, but this failure of accurate reporting can have a serious harmful effect on justice.

Libel cases are hugely expensive and people like Ms Heybroek and myself – This Writer is fighting an ongoing case brought by Ms Riley, remember – cannot afford to defend against the accusations without help.

We ask sympathetic members of the public to support us with donations – but they may be discouraged from doing so, if they read or hear a report claiming that Ms Riley (and Ms Oberman, in Ms Heybroek’s case) is somehow winning.

Conversely, if they discover that such claims are false, I would hope members of the public would find their determination to support the defendants redoubled.

The expense of the hearing has put Ms Heybroek out-of-pocket. She is crowdfunding to pay for her case and if you can afford to help, her CrowdJustice site may be found here.

As for my own case – the request is the same as usual. Please:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via my own 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.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

It would be nice to see Ms Riley and/or Ms Oberman distancing themselves from the inaccurate media reports.

But, considering my own belief that they would be as happy to win their cases by starving us of funds as they would in a courtroom, I fear I may have to wait a long time for that.

Source: Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman win first round of High Court libel battle | London Evening Standard

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Judgement reserved on another Riley libel case: how will the media mess this one up?

The Countdown has begun: but will certain commentators be able to wait until judgement is handed down in a Riley libel case before reporting it (inaccurately)?

The High Court held a hearing on another libel case involving Rachel Riley yesterday (April 28).

This time the object of her ire was Jane Heybroek, who is facing proceedings because she tweeted a link to an article about Ms Riley,

As with Laura Murray’s recent hearing, the issue under discussion was the meaning of Ms Heybroek’s words, and whether they constituted assertions of fact or expressions of opinion.

After it took place, Ms Heybroek tweeted that Mr Justice Jay had reserved judgement after the hearing, which took place remotely.

Judgement will be delivered in two or three weeks, and Ms Heybroek made it clear that nothing may be said about that judgement until after it is handed down (that is, after it has been made public).

Depending on what the judge decides, this may come as a burden to the people who – for example – prematurely shared details of the Laura Murray judgement with the Daily Mail and the Guido Fawkes blog.

But then, those people may have their own problems anyway – as the court should be pursuing them with a view to prosecuting them for contempt.

We shall all have to see what happens in two or three weeks’ time.

The ‘meanings’ hearing on my case took place last December, of course, and the news media garbled the result to make it seem Ms Riley came out with the upper hand (she didn’t).

In fact, she had to re-write her accusation against me. I then submitted a defence to the court and Ms Riley’s lawyers are now trying to argue about it.

I take this as yet another attempt to waste the money my supporters have contributed to my CrowdJustice site. I have said many times that libel cases are highly expensive and whenever Ms Riley’s lawyers raise an issue, my own legal team have to counter it – at a cost of thousands of pounds.

I believe she never expected to have to go to court. She thought I would not be able to raise any funds to fight her accusations and that – instead of facing justice – she would be able to buy the result she wanted.

The distortions in the newspapers seem to be an attack on a second front – a propaganda war to undermine faith in people like myself, Ms Heybroek and Ms Murray.

We aren’t media darlings. We don’t have many friends in the right-wing press. We have to rely on you, and on your generosity. That’s why I always have to make this appeal:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

On Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

It seems some people want you to think they’re giving you the facts because the shout about them the loudest.

But you can always get accurate information here.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Rachel Riley has launched court proceedings against someone else. What does this mean?

Countdown: Time is money and as her case against me ticks on, Rachel Riley will be hoping the money raised by my CrowdJustice campaign runs out. Please help foil her.

Some of you may be aware that Rachel Riley (and her partner-in-litigation threats, Tracy-Ann Oberman) has launched a court case against someone else on a matter connected with my own.

But while I had written an article, all Jane Heybroek did was retweet a link to one (not mine; one of the articles on which my own piece was based).

You can find details of the case on her own CrowdJustice site, here. And feel free to contribute to her funds if you can.

The fact that Ms Riley is taking other people to court over this matter suggests that she is not about to give up her pursuit of me, despite the evidence that is mounting against her position.

It also suggests that I am right in my belief that she is hoping to drain my funds – and those of Ms Heybroek – to ensure that we become unable to sustain our cases and have to seek a settlement, or let her win, before any trial takes place.

I wonder whether she thinks opening a case against another person will make this easier to achieve – assuming that there are a limited number of people willing to support us, and therefore a limited amount of money available for our CrowdJustice campaigns.

Only you can prove her wrong.

My legal team is about to write the detailed defence against Ms Riley’s latest claim against me (she had to re-word it after a judge’s ruling earlier this month) – and I reckon it will kill her claim against me stone dead, if it gets a hearing in court.

My guess is that it will also kill the claim against Ms Heybroek.

We need to get it heard in court.

As I have mentioned before, defamation (libel) cases are extremely expensive. Even though nearly £50,000 has been provided to fund my case through this site (so far), most of it has been used getting it to this point.

If you can’t contribute more yourself right now, that’s perfectly understandable. But please encourage your friends to visit this site – https://crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/ – and contribute. And put a little more in the pot yourself, if you can.

The average amount donated per person is less than £20. That’s not a lot to give in return for justice.

On Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal. I’ve seen a lot of tweets supporting this case – but usually from the same few people. If you’re not one of them – and you are on Twitter – it doesn’t take much effort and it could make a huge difference.

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. I haven’t seen many of these at all, and Facebook is far more influential than Twitter. I’d like to! If you do this, feel free to let me know.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

It would be easy to tell yourself that you’ve done your bit. After all, this campaign has been running for a few months and there’s a new one to grab your attention.

That is how Ms Riley could win.

If you believe in justice – and if you’re reading this, I know you do – then that’s the last thing you want for this case.

Let’s set a precedent for 2020 with a big boost for this campaign – and keep it going strong into the future.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
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HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

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