DJ apologises for online jibes at coffee chain
The owner of a chain of coffee shops has told of his relief that an internet troll who was bad-mouthing his business apologised in court.
Colin McClean (36), the managing director of the Bob & Berts coffee chain which has several stores, has also spoken of his relief that the matter is now over after Richard Campbell - a well known disc jockey in the north coast area - apologised for his internet intervention.
Mr McClean said a libel case was withdrawn and settled after being listed at a court in Coleraine when the comments were retracted and an apology was made. Mr Campbell, who goes by the name DJ Ricky C, is from Coleraine. Mr McClean claimed Mr Campbell started off posting reviews on the Bob & Bert Facebook site and they became "more aggressive".
Mr Campbell said allegations that he was involved in an 18-month "campaign" were not proven. Bob & Berts is a rapidly expanding business and currently employs 150 people across 10 stores. Mr McClean, claimed earlier in the proceedings he had offered Mr Campbell the chance to apologise and make a £100 donation to charity but that was not taken up. Mr Campbell said the offer had included Mr McClean's costs up until that point.
Mr McClean said Mr Campbell is banned from entering their stores and he is pleased at what he said was an undertaking that Mr Campbell will not post anything about the firm on the internet.
Mr Campbell denies giving such an undertaking but says he has no intention to comment on Mr McClean's business in the future.
Said Mr McClean: "I am pleased he apologised through his barrister at a civil case at the County Court in Coleraine on Monday but it has now left him with a bill in costs.
"This all started when he started doing reviews and we believed the allegations were malicious and we had people contacting us about what he was saying and people were saying they would not come into our shops because of what was being said. We have 25,000 Facebook followers and at the start he used his own name but when he was banned he would crop up again under a new profile.
"I am pleased this is now over and he had seen sense and apologised. We had asked for an apology in February this year and offered him the chance to make a donation of £100 to the RNLI but when that didn't happen we had to go down the legal route to get this to stop.
"He has already been banned from our shops and he has given an undertaking not to make any more reviews. Thankfully this is over now and our business can continue to grow."
Mr McClean claimed Mr Campbell mounted a social media campaign but by December 2014 a post was made which the company felt had overstepped the mark. Mr McClean said that after requesting that Mr Campbell remove material, further comments were made online and he felt they were left with no alternative but to take action regarding alleged "libellous and defamatory comments".
Mr McClean said the case was settled and an apology was made.
A court document provided by Mr McClean read: "The defendant Richard Campbell wishes to apologise for the contents of a post he made on the Bob & Berts Facebook page on December 13, 2014. Mr Campbell retracts his comments in their entirety and has agreed to make a contribution towards the costs incurred by Mr McClean in bringing this action".
In a statement , Mr Campbell alleged there were inaccuracies being portrayed about him and said he has never used false profiles or held false Facebook profile pages.
He said the allegation of an 18 month “campaign” had not been proven.
Mr Campbell said both parties came to an out of court agreement.