QLD Defamation of Character Using My Criminal Record?

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2 January 2015
Hi, a lady has put in a formal complaint with my employer stating that a convicted murderer has threatened her (meaning me). I'm now being investigated by my employer and could lose my job. This is worrying me because I did no such thing. I was convicted of manslaughter after a domestic violence incident. My employer was aware of my criminal history when I started. Can I sue her for defamation?

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Without knowing enough details, I cannot say for sure, but it does appear you may have a case in defamation if
(i) you end up losing your job or suffer some other quantifiable loss or significant reputation loss;
(ii) if you have evidence supporting the fact that you made no such threats (e.g. alibi for you being somewhere else at the alleged time the threat was made);
(iii) if you believe the benefits gained from a defamation case is proportionate to the expenses and time spent on the matter.


Further to Sarah's comments, just to clarify - any action for defamation may only lie in respect of the fact that the woman is stating that you threatened her. The fact that she is calling you a 'convicted murderer' while inaccurate, may (depending on the circumstances) full under the defence of truth or justification. In addition, if your employer already knows the truth about your conviction then being incorrectly labelled a 'convicted murderer' should not sway his opinion of you and cause the requisite damage for a defamation action.