William Eichler 10 February 2016

Transgender couple wins damages after council publishes libellous material

Transgender couple wins damages after council publishes libellous material image

A transgender couple who were subjected to a campaign of harassment have won damages from the council after defamatory comments were published on its website.

According to The Telegraph, the women, who live in a rural village outside Southampton, have had their property repeatedly targeted by vandals who, on one occasion, caused £12,000 worth of damage.

The couple installed CCTV cameras but were then told by Test Valley Borough Council that they must apply for retrospective planning permission after the council received letters from neighbours objecting to the cameras.

The council published many of the letters on its website, which included claims concerning young children playing outside and in neighbouring gardens.

One of the letters was so libellous that the council paid the women £5,000 in damages after they took the authority to court.

One of the women told The Telegraph: ‘The abuse had just escalated. It’s been awful. All we want is to live a quiet life.

‘We have had stink bombs thrown at our car, paint and condoms thrown, our garage door dented with pellet bullets, cars parked in such a way that it is impossible to get into our car… the police say they can’t do anything as there is no evidence it’s a hate crime but it’s pretty obvious why this is happening.

‘We are both transgender. That is really the only difference between us and other people. Our solicitor described it as a witch hunt.’

A council spokesperson said: ‘The council inadvertently published a third party letter on its website which contained libellous content relating to a planning application.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Deputy Chief Executive & s.151 Officer

Wychavon District Council
package to £90k
This is an exceptional career development opportunity, and the perfect role for a talented public service leader with ambition. Worcestershire
Recuriter: Wychavon District Council

Senior Practitioner - Family Support & Protection

Essex County Council
Up to £237 per day + Umbrella
Managing a defined caseload, the social worker is responsible for working effectively with children, young people and families/carers to achieve positive change and improved outcomes. England, Essex, Basildon
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Qualified Social Worker - Family Support & Protection

Essex County Council
Up to £207 per day + Umbrella
Managing a defined caseload, the Social Worker is responsible for working effectively with children, young people & families/carers to achieve positive change and improved outcomes. England, Essex, Basildon
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Qualified Social Worker - Assessment & Intervention Team

Essex County Council
Up to £207 per day + Umbrella
Managing a defined caseload, the Social Worker is responsible for working effectively with children, young people & families/carers to achieve positive change and improved outcomes. England, Essex, Basildon
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Qualified Social Worker - Assessment & Intervention Team

Essex County Council
Up to £207 per day + Umbrella
Family Operations delivers direct provision of services relating to vulnerable children, young people and complex families. England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue