A Manly woman has been ordered to pay a former neighbour $120,000 for suggesting he was a “busybody” during an email dispute about unlocked mailboxes in an apartment complex.
Gary Raynor was awarded $90,000 in damages and $30,000 in aggravated damages after a NSW District Court judge found he was defamed by former neighbour Patricia Murray.
Mr Raynor’s lawyers claimed a 2017 email written by Ms Murray suggested he was: “a small-minded busy body who wastes the time of fellow residents on petty items”.
He also claimed the email suggested he harassed her, acted menacingly and sent malicious emails to humiliate her.
Ms Murray had sent the email to the 78-year-old and other residents, to ask him to stop emailing her about locking her letterbox.
“To avoid further harassment, I’ve not replied to your provoking mailbox emails. However, your consistent attempt to shame me publicly is cowardly,” Ms Murray wrote.
Amid reports of thefts from mailboxes in the area, Mr Raynor had sent a number of emails to residents as chair of the Strata committee of the building.