Well what do you say? Personally, I have wondered why the McCanns have never taken Tony Bennett to Court earlier, but now I can see why. The Court has to have evidence, the plaintiffs have to show the Judge that they have been defamed and that the defamation continues on a daily basis and they have tried every method of stopping this person before hitting the courts, ranging from letters of cease and desist to warnings that continuation will be dealt with by the courts because there is already a Court Order issued against this person.
The first few paragraphs of the letter tells Tony Bennett exactly what is going to happen. That is why he was sent those ring binders, because they are going to use all that evidence in Court. It doesn’t matter if Tony Bennett pulls that material or not, pulling it might go a little in his favour, but it won’t get him out of these court proceedings.
Tony Bennett has to go the full way now, because to offer compensation, it will be seen as though Tony Bennett knows he has libelled the McCanns, plus Ed Smethurst, and this results in him admitting that what he has written is not true and therefore libellous and defamatory.
The letter (PDF) is clear and concise and tells Tony Bennett what Mr and Mrs McCann intend on doing. It states:
As you are aware, we represent Kate and Gerry McCann.
We write to inform you that, given your flagrant and numerous breaches of the undertakings which you gave to the Court by way of a consent Order dated 25 November 2009 (“the order”), our clients have been left with no alternative but to now instruct us to instigate contempt of court proceedings against you.
We enclose a further copy of the Order, with which you are atready familiar, and which sets out the sanctions whlch are available to the Court if the Order is breached end a contempt of Court thereby committed.
As such, it is vital that you appreciate the gravity of the position in which you have placed yourself, and we must urge you to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
And in another matter Tony Bennett is also going to have to deal with Mr Smethurst and offer some form of compensation for damages, which of course will escalate should he continue doing what he did yesterday by bringing the daughter of Ed Smethurst into the argument he has with her father.
No Court is going to sit back and not frown on that kind of action and they will deal severely should the case be proven.
But the truth is, this is not a matter of Freedom of Speech, this is not denying people the right to disagree or have an opinion. Nobody is denying them their freedom of speech, what they are saying you can speak freely providing you don’t libel and defame a person. And that is what is happening here.
We have also seen in the Carter Ruck letter (PDF) dated 15th July 2011, that the McCanns are now going to draw a line in the sand and will take people to court who libel and defame them, and by reading this from the letter, it is clear that members of the Madeleine Foundation could also find that they are at the end of legal letters if they continue the Foundations mantra.
The letter states:
No doubt you will show this letter to your fellow members of the “Madeleine Foundation”. Should they, or indeed anyone linked to them, disseminate serious falsehoods about our clients, we shall advise our clients to pursue those individuals directly for appropriate legal relief.
Tony Bennett, isn’t it about time, you told this people that by repeating what you write, they are in fact also committing libel and defamation and that they are responsible for their actions. I hope you have told your members exactly what that paragraph means.
Somehow I doubt it.