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Sarnie slander

Online libel could cost you your livelihood

An Irish sandwich maker was ordered to pay damages for putting the name and contact number of one of his competitors on a prostitution website, in Ireland's first internet libel case.

The victim of the attack, Maureen Walker, of Castlerea in the west of Ireland, reportedly received more than 100 telephone calls over two days from people seeking sex. She runs a company called Exclusive Sandwiches, which became Exclusive Maureen on the web.

Police tracked down the culprit, Francis Kelly, who admitted his responsibilty.

Judge Carol Moran branded Kenny's actions "dreadful" and said that Kenny must pay damages, an amount which was agreed between the victim and Kenny but was undisclosed to the court.

The amount was in excess of the $11,000 that Kenny had orginally offered as compensation.

"The damages are fairly high, but will hopefully act as a good deterrent for people who want to attack their rivals in this way," said a spokesperson for the Irish Courts.

The case marks an important point in internet libel, which has been a growing issue with the rise in popularity of the internet. Last year Demon Internet was taken to court by Dr David Godfrey because the firm had failed to remove libellous postings from a bulletin board it hosted.

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