Professor wins £70,000 libel damages over false sex predator claims

An academic falsely accused of being a sexual predator and rapist by an anonymous blogger has been awarded £70,000 in damages by a High Court judge.

Paul Blackledge, a professor in politics and ethics, was accused of a series of serious sexual assaults in three articles published under a pseudonym on the BlogSpot blogging platform last year.

The High Court heard that the posts were published under the pseudonym ‘MeTooUCU’, a reference to the £MeToo movement and Tech News. the University and College Union (UCU).

The articles falsely alleged Dr Blackledge, who has worked at universities in Leeds, , Northumbria and , was also guilty of rape as well as sustained bullying and the humiliation of his victims.

In a judgment on Thursday, Mr Justice Saini awarded the five-figure sum in damages, finding the allegations were false and ‘gravely defamatory’.

The damages are likely to be symbolic as the anonymous blogger’s identity remains unknown. 

Paul Blackledge, a professor in politics and ethics, was accused of a series of serious sexual assaults in three articles published under a pseudonym on a blogging platform last year

He said: ‘I am satisfied on the evidence that the claimant has never committed any form of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or rape.

‘I also accept that he was devastated by these false allegations and finds the very idea of sexual violence abhorrent.’ 

The individual behind the website did not engage with the court or attempt to defend the allegations.

Mr Justice Saini said: ‘The defendant has used the anonymity of the internet and social media to hide.

‘The facts of this case are a striking example of how the internet and social media can be used to abuse and damage innocent individuals with apparent impunity.’

The judge said the blogger emailed Dr Blackledge’s professional contacts with the allegations as part of a ‘vindictive and relentless’ campaign over several months.

A High Court (pictured, stock image) judge ordered Google to take down the website with the articles and awarded Dr Blackledge £70,000 in damages – although this is largely symbolic as the blogger remains anonymous

The blogger also shared the articles with other academics through an anonymous Twitter account, leading the judge to conclude they had been seen between ‘the high hundreds to low thousands’ of times.

Mr Justice Saini said the allegations would have been ‘devastating’ to Dr Blackledge’s reputation.

He continued: ‘The claimant can barely sleep from the torment of the allegations and thinks about them all the time.

‘The website and emails have caused many who were previously close to the claimant to stop speaking to him completely.

‘Others have told the claimant they would have to distance themselves from him despite telling him they did not believe the allegations.’

Mr Justice Saini awarded a total of £70,000 to Dr Blackledge for libel and harassment.

‘This substantial sum is intended to reflect and signal the total falsity of the allegations against Paul Blackledge,’ he added.

The judge also ordered that Google, which hosts BlogSpot, must take down the website with the articles.

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with Australia Assessments
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
Human Resources Management (HRM)
Good economics.
Customer 462499, May 1st, 2022
Very good job! I really appreciate the work and effort you've done. it helped me a lot. the feedback has been followed one by one and I appreciate that! I will assign you for future work, and I will be sending a tip soon!
Customer 462787, August 1st, 2022
Religious studies
Excellent content and structure.
Customer 462681, April 24th, 2022
Medical terminology
Thank you so much
Customer 454783, April 15th, 2022
Business Studies
Great work again!
Customer 454345, May 10th, 2020
Great job.
Customer 463301, November 14th, 2022
Thank you! Yes I did receive my paper on time. Thank you for all the help.
Customer 453975, February 3rd, 2020
Good work.
Customer 459817, June 16th, 2022
Home Repair & Home Maintenance
Great work
Customer 452441, April 21st, 2022
appreciate your work
Customer 463875, April 29th, 2023
Religious studies
Excellent response.
Customer 460547, April 20th, 2022
Customer 462865, April 18th, 2022
Customer reviews in total
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
Customers referred by a friend
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat