Fergus Wilson claim dismissed
An attempt by millionaire landlord Fergus Wilson to silence Danny Hyde, a YouTube vlogger, has been dismissed by the Court. Giles Peaker acted pro bono for Danny Hyde.
Danny Hyde had made a YouTube video about Fergus Wilson after Wilson’s letting policy was found to unlawfully racially discriminate. In the course of that video, Danny had called Fergus Wilson a couple of vulgar names. Wilson brought a claim against Danny for £10,000 damages to try to get him to take down or change the video, alleging it was in breach of the Malicious Communications Act. Giles Peaker of Anthony Gold and counsel Gerard Clarke of Blackstone Chambers took up Danny’s defence, both acting pro bono.
At the Yeovil County Court on 31 January, with Danny represented by Gerard Clarke, Wilson’s claim was dismissed outright. The District Judge awarded £3,000 in pro bono costs against Wilson, to be paid to a pro bono legal charity.
Giles says “I’m delighted the claim was dismissed. It had no legal basis and was brought simply to threaten a young man who had said something that Fergus Wilson didn’t like. Danny Hyde was exercising his right to free expression, nothing more. The award of pro bono costs against Fergus Wilson will hopefully make clear that threatening people with baseless claims is no way to behave.”