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Woman apologises after suggesting neighbour was a ‘wife beater’

Judge told that man will get compensation after alleging slander

A woman who suggested that her neighbour was a “wife beater” during a row has apologised and agreed to pay compensation, a High Court judge has been told.

Twice married George Homer sued Michelle Hollingsworth, alleging slander, after she made the accusation in front of a number of other people nearly three years ago.

Lawyers on Monday told Mr Justice Jay that Mrs Hollingsworth, who lives near Mr Homer on the Hatherton Estate in Cannock, Staffordshire, withdrew the allegation.

“On 5 April 2015, during the course of an argument with Mr Homer, Mrs Hollingsworth said in the presence and hearing of her husband, Mr Homer’s son, and one of Mr Homer’s employees, that (Mr Homer) was a wife beater and she knew that,” barrister Clara Hamer, who represented Mr Homer, told the judge at a High Court hearing in London.

“As Mrs Hollingsworth now accepts, any suggestion that Mr Homer had been violent towards either of his former wives is completely false.”

She added: “Mrs Hollingsworth has undertaken not to repeat any of the words complained of in this claim, or any similar allegations. She has also agreed to pay Mr Homer compensation and a contribution towards his legal costs.”

Barrister Steven Reed, who represented Mrs Hollingsworth, told Mr Justice Jay: “Through me, Mrs Hollingsworth wishes to explain that she never intended to suggest that Mr Homer had been violent towards either of his former wives, and she has absolutely no reason to believe that he has been. Such an allegation would be defamatory and untrue. If those hearing her words interpreted them in that way, she apologises unreservedly to Mr Homer.”

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