Hopkins has been ordered to pay out €27,000 for defamatory tweets
Food writer Jack Monroe has won £24,000 (€27,000) in a libel case against Katie Hopkins over tweets which implied Monroe defaced or condoned the damage of a war memorial.
Monroe, who sued the controversial Mail Online columnist over the posts from May 2015, told the high court in London that the messages from Hopkins had led to death threats, and said their legal dispute had been an “unproductive, devastating nightmare”.
The food blogger’s lawyers argued the tweets were defamatory and caused “serious harm” to Monroe’s reputation.
The case centred on public tweets sent by Hopkins to Monroe – apparently in a case of mistaken identity – after a memorial to the women of the Second World War in Whitehall was vandalised with the words “Fuck Tory scum” during an anti-austerity demonstration.
Commenting on the graffiti, Laurie Penny, a fellow British columinist, tweeted from her account @PennyRed that she “[didn’t] have a problem” with the vandalism as a form of protest, as “the bravery of past generations does not oblige us to be cowed today”.
Shortly afterwards, in a tweet directed to Monroe’s then account @MsJackMonroe, Hopkins wrote: “Scrawled on any memorials recently? Vandalised the memory of those who fought for your freedom. Grandma got any more medals?”
It is believed that Hopkins had mistaken Monroe for Penny.
Shortly after Hopkins’s original message, Monroe, tweeted in response: “I have NEVER ‘scrawled on a memorial’. Brother in the RAF. Dad was a Para in the Falklands. You’re a piece of shit.”
Monroe later sent a second message asking Hopkins to apologise: “Dear @KTHopkins, public apology + £5K to migrant rescue and I won’t sue. It’ll be cheaper for you and v satisfying for me.”
Hopkins deleted the first tweet but tweeted afterwards: “Can someone explain to me – in 10 words or less – the difference between irritant @PennyRed and social anthrax @MsJackMonroe.”
Speaking after the decision was announced, Monroe said: “I am very relieved that it is over and done with. It has been a very long and very arduous process. There have been many times when I have almost given up and walked away. But I started something and I had to see it through, and I have done.”