Rufus v Elliott: QBD 1 Nov 2013

The parties were former footballers involved in charitable works. The claimant said that an allegation by the defendant that he the claimant had released for publication a text message in which the the defendant was said to have used extremely offensive language was defamatory. Though denying that he had released it, the defendant now argued that the the wod he had used to Mr Rufus was so offensive that it could not be defamatory to have made it public, since right minded members of the public would only commend him for exposing the use of such language.
Held: The court was being asked about whether the words were capable of bearing a defamatory meaning. They did: ‘right-thinking members of society are well aware: (a) of the ordinary weaknesses and failings of mankind; (b) that in private communications between former friends, even the most well-intentioned and hard-working people (such as Mr Elliott), might say things which should never be said. In these circumstances right-thinking members of society could, in my judgment, take the view that sending a private communication to the public, with the inevitable consequence that the former friend would lose his office, was both disloyal and wrong.’

Dingemans J
[2013] EWHC 3355 (QB)
England and Wales
CitedSim v Stretch HL 1936
Test For Defamatory Meaning
The plaintiff complained that the defendant had written in a telegram to accuse him of enticing away a servant. The House considered the process of deciding whether words were defamatory.
Held: The telegram was incapable of bearing a . .
CitedModi and Another v Clarke CA 29-Jul-2011
The claimants, organisers of the Indian Premier cricket League, met with organisations in England seeking to establish a similar league in the Northern Hemisphere. A copy of a note came to the defendant, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket . .
CitedThornton v Telegraph Media Group Ltd QBD 16-Jun-2010
The claimant said that a review of her book was defamatory and a malicious falsehood. The defendant now sought summary judgment or a ruling as to the meaning of the words complained of.
Held: The application for summary judgment succeeded. The . .
CitedJeynes v News Magazines Ltd and Another CA 31-Jan-2008
Whether Statement defamatory at common law
The claimant appealed against a striking out of her claim for defamation on finding that the words did not have the defamatory meaning complained of, namely that she was transgendered or transsexual.
Held: The appeal failed.
Sir Anthony . .
CitedSkuse v Granada Television CA 30-Mar-1993
The claimant complained that the defendant had said in a television programme that he had failed to act properly when presenting his expert forensic evidence in court in the trial of the Birmingham Six.
Held: The court should give to the . .
CitedMawe v Pigott 1869
A claim for libel was brought by an Irish priest, who was said to be an informer against disloyal and criminal classes.
Held: The action was dismissed. The argument on behalf of the priest was noted to be that amongst certain classes who were . .
CitedMyroft v Sleight 1921
The plaintiff, a trawler skipper sailing out of Grimsby, was a member of the Grimsby Fishermens’ Trades Union. A committee member was the defendant. The plaintiff was among those voting for a strike, and an unofficial strike was called. The . .
BindingByrne v Deane CA 1937
A notice had been displayed on a golf club notice board. The court considered whether this constituted publication for defamation purposes.
Held: Greene LJ said: ‘Now on the substantial question of publication, publication, of course, is a . .
CitedWilliams v MGN Ltd QBD 2-Dec-2009
The claimant, who had been convicted of murder, complained that an article defamed him by calling him a ‘grass’ or police informer. The defendant asked that the claimant’s defamation action be struck out as an abuse.
Held: While the suggestion . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.517354