09 April 2008
Executive accepts £100k in libel damages
The chief executive of a housing group has been awarded £100,000 in libel damages.
Peter Walls of the Gentoo Group, which was formerly known as the Sunderland Housing Company, was ruled by a judge at London's high court to have been the victim of a number of anonymous defamatory statements.
Along with his firm and several employees, Mr Wallis had sued John Finn, the owner of rival firm Pallion Housing, due to his involvement in what they described as a "campaign of internet defamation and harassment".
Among the comments made were allegations of corruption and sexual misconduct.
The comments were posted on a website entitled dadsplace.co.uk, which comprised a news section and an anonymous forum.
A settlement has now been reached in which Mr Finn and Pallion Housing - which describes itself as "Sunderland's second largest independent landlord" - will make a payment to Mr Wallis to end the legal action.