I was sexually abused and raped by my brother for 6 years. i wrote a letter to my mother detailing what he did and my father. my mother has since died and my brother has found the letter. he is now threatening me with lible action if i do not tell his children that the letter is false. I am 46 and this happened during my teanage years. I finally went to the police last year and reported him. it was a lengthy process and as he also abused my sister and she did not want to give evidence they have put a hold on the case. it took 7 months to hear from the cps. does he have a case to answer. I did tell my aunt and cousin a few years ago of what he did to me.
System of Law: England-and-Wales
nothing apart from reporting him to the police i only did this when i went to see his ex wife to let her know what he did to me in someway to protect her children. i was horified when she told me that he had raped her all the way through their marriage and that he had physically abused his children. please can you advise
Hi there. Thanks for your question, I will help you with this.
Are you asking whether you're likely to be liable to him in libel or other form of defamation?
yes he is threatening to sue me for lible damages. can he do this i have told my relatives what he did to me and also the police. i have not printed anything over the internet or papers. his ex wife has told there children who are 17 and 22 of what he did. they do not have contact with him anyway for what he has done to them and their mother. i think he is doing this to try and restore some contact with his children.
He can sue you for libel if you've said this and it's untrue. That's the key thing.
If it is true - then you have an absolute answer to any defamation proceedings.
But, you would only have to show that it was true on the balance of probability. In other words, it's not like a criminal charge, it's much a much much easier burden to prove.
sorry dont understand. please can you explain in layman terms
Yes, of course.
Basically, you've said something to somebody that would be libel if it wasn't true. Okay?
Then, so show that its not libel, you have to show that what you've said is true.
But, you only have to convince a judge that its more likely than not to be true.
You don't have to prove it like you would if you pressed charges in the criminal courts.
Does that make sense?
I think so. so are you saying that it is very unlikely that he has a case to answer
If you can convince a judge its likely to be true, then no, he wound't have a case. But equally, would he really want to risk finding out what a judge thought?
I doubt he would!
my husband is concerned for the fact that the cps do not wish to proceed that my brother things that he is inocent
The criminal side is much harder to prove, but that they don't proceed doesn't mean he is innocent!
It just means they feel they can't provide it to the high standard required in criminal cases.
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many thanks i much appreciate it.
Thank you and good luck with this!
HiIn fact there is no claim that your brother can make at all.You wrote a private letter to you mother.This does not count as publication and accordingly there has been no libel in any eventIn addition of course if your brother started proceedings they would be a matter of public record - thus creating publicity for the accusation - something he is unlikely to do.Claire
Sorry about the above interjection.Claire is wrong, publication can be a "private letter" to a third party. Communicating it to anybody is publication for these purposes. You can seek clarification if you want is from here, http://www.carter-ruck.com/Media%20Law/Questions_And_Answers.aspDan
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