THE lawyer representing a man entangled in a $30,000 defamation battle with “Candyman” Travers Beynon wants the claim to be thrown out because the publications were made too long ago.
The tobacco tycoonist last month slapped his neighbour James Blackledge with the lawsuit claiming he was falsely called an “ignorant a**hole” and “weak as piss”.
The Glitter Strip businessman claims his neighbour damaged his reputation and caused him hurt and embarrassment through a series of emails in 2017 and 2018 to other residents.
But in Blackledge’s defence, filed in Southport District Court last week, his lawyer Campbell MacCallum denied the validity of the claim since the emails were sent more than 12 months ago.
“The plaintiff’s claims are therefore denied,” the document states, citing the Limitation of Action legislation which states defamation proceedings must generally be filed within a year of the allegations being published.
A court may extend the period if it’s satisfied the action could not reasonably have been commenced within 12 months.
Travers ‘Candyman’ Beynon arriving at Love Nightlife nightclub in Broadbeach at the weekend, for Gold Coast Bulletin Night Spotting photos
Mr Blackledge also denies any of the material published was defamatory.
His defence called for the matter to be dismissed or “permanently stayed as an abuse of power”.
Mr Beynon wants $30,000 in damages and an injunction to stop Mr Blackledge from sending “similar” words.
He claims Mr Blackledge wrote “weak as piss x travers” in an email to various residents when discussing a good behaviour complaint by Freechoice Australia in November 2017.
He also refers to two emails from November 2018 in the claim, in which Mr Blackledge wrote about “damages” following an “event/debacle”.
Travers ‘Candyman’ Beynon arriving at Love Nightlife nightclub in Broadbeach.
Mr Beynon alleges Mr Blackledge wrote to the committee and a resident: “It does not surprise me that the ignorant asshole did not even call to apologize (sic) for the damage/traffic congestion & angst he has cause to the estate all the more ammo for legal challenge.”
Mr Blackledge’s defence does not admit the emails identified Mr Beynon and the claim does not include particulars explaining why the email’s recipients would have understood them to be about the Candyman.
The defence states the 2018 emails “formed part of a larger email chain which the defendant will … rely upon for its context and true meaning”.
In a separate case last year, Mr Blackledge was one of four defendants named in a District Court lawsuit by Travers Developments against the body corporate committee at the luxury riverfront estate.
The matter is still before the courts, although action against one defendant has been discontinued.
Originally published as Why lawyer wants Candyman defamation case thrown out