Policeman wins first email libel

A POLICEMAN has been awarded “substantial” damages in what is believed to be the first action for libel brought over material transmitted by electronic mail.

PC David Eggleton reached an out-of-court settlement with the supermarket chain Asda over a description of him which was circulated between its stores.

The circular went out after the crime prevention officer complained about meat he had bought at the Spondon, Derby, store. He was told about it by a friend who worked there.

His description and an account of the complaint was headed: “Refund fraud – urgent, urgent, urgent.”

Sarah Webb, of Russell Jones & Walker, the London-based firm which handled the case, said the allegation was untrue. Eggleton had received an apology in addition to the damages.