Craig v Slater: Damning findings against Craig, found to have sexually harassed Rachel MacGregor

After 504 days Justice Toogood finally delivered his judgment, taking two days per page to complete.

The judgement could be considered a technical draw, which I will explain in this post, but it is rather damning of the behaviour of Colin Craig.

The key findings are as follows: Quote:

[17] For the reasons set out below, I have found that:

(b) It is true that Mr Craig was guilty of moderately serious sexual harassment of Ms MacGregor, on multiple occasions from early 2012 to 2014 by telling her that he remained romantically inclined and sexually attracted to her, and that those expressions of his views were not welcomed by Ms MacGregor at the time they were communicated to her. Ms MacGregor chose not to complain about the harassment because of her concern about the effect of a complaint on her employment.

[18] I have held that Mr Slater and SMCL have no defence to two of the claims by Mr Craig that he was defamed by them. At the conclusion of this judgment, I make a declaration under s 24 of the Defamation Act 1992 that the defendants are liable to Mr Craig in defamation for the untrue statements that Mr Craig:

  1. had placed Ms Rachel MacGregor under financial pressure to sleep with him; and
  2. sexually harassed at least one victim other than Ms MacGregor.

[19] I have also held that the reputational damage which Mr Craig suffered throughout the events traversed at length in this judgment resulted almost entirely from his own actions. To the extent, if any, that his reputation suffered further damage because of the two defamatory statements for which I have held the defendants to be liable, I am more than satisfied that the declarations that he was defamed in that way provide adequate vindication. I conclude, therefore, that Mr Craig is not entitled to an award of general damages to compensate him further for such damage. Mr Craig’s remaining causes of action and his claims for damages in defamation are dismissed. End quote.

The judge found that on those two counts only, that I defamed Mr Craig, but that his reputation was so terribly damaged by his own appalling actions that no damages were awarded.

On my counter claims Toogood J found: Qu ote:

[20] On Mr Slater?s counterclaim, I have held that I do not accept that:

  1. Mr Slater spread lies about Mr Craig; or
  2. made up allegations about him; or
  3. gathered information that he knew was fake or untrue;
  4. or published material on Whaleoil knowing it not to be true.

[21] I am satisfied Mr Slater is neither a compulsive nor a calculated liar.

[22] I have held, therefore, that Mr Craig?s defence of truth to Mr Slater?s counterclaim fails. I find, however, that although Mr Craig countered the Whaleoil publications which he considered to have defamed him by asserting in the Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas booklet that there was a conspiracy between Mr Slater, Mr Williams and Mr Stringer to spread deliberate lies about him, his primary motive was to correct what he had maintained throughout were untrue statements. Because the core allegations about Mr Craig?s relationship with Ms MacGregor and related matters had received widespread publication throughout New Zealand, I have found that Mr Craig’s decision to distribute the booklet to every New Zealand household was a justifiable response. I find that the untrue statements in the Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas booklet were made on an occasion of qualified privilege in reply to an attack on him by Mr Slater and that the privilege was not lost. On that basis, Mr Slater?s counterclaim in defamation is dismissed. End quote.

So, Toogood J has been inconsistent with the findings in the Williams v Craig trial, upheld by the Court of Appeal, that Colin Craig was entitled to attack with his false booklet delivered to every household in New Zealand. Colin Craig did defame me in every regard. I imagine Colin Craig will appeal this, and I may cross-appeal on the inconsistency.

This is why I call it a technical draw. Colin Craig ultimately failed in his attempt to damage me, the judge has decided he deserves absolutely no damages for the two defamations, and he has found that it was actually Colin Craig who spread lies about me.

I will do a few more posts on other findings in this judgment, but the full judgment is now online for everyone to read.

I am very pleased with many of the findings of Toogood J, the one thing I am not pleased with is the terrible length of time it has taken to get to this point.

Colin Craig’s attempt to clear his name has failed in the most spectacular way, and many of the findings make that abundantly clear.

Judgment Craig v Slater CI… by on Scribd