Former leader pays out slander damages

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A FORMER parish council chairman has agreed to pay substantial slander damages over an allegation of sexual harassment.

David Harvey was chairman of the Rowlands Castle Parish Council at the time of the incident, during a meeting in April 2011, counsel Adam Speker told Judge Richard Parkes at London’s High Court.

At the meeting, which was open to the public, Mr Harvey stated Alan Craggs, who was then chairman of the Parish Hall Management Committee, had been engaged in a three-year campaign of harassment against a female council employee. He said this employee required protection from Mr Craggs and that he had sent her a number of inappropriate emails.

Mr Speker said: ‘Some of those present understood that to be an allegation of sexual harassment. The defendant wishes to clarify that this was not what he meant and he accepts that such an allegation would not have been true.’

Mr Speker said Mr Harvey apologised for the enormous distress and hurt caused to Mr Craggs and his wife and had agreed to pay him substantial undisclosed damages.

Both sides refused to comment when approached by The News.