South West Wales

Blogger Jacqui Thompson faces £190,000 court costs

Mark James and Jacqui Thompson
Image caption Mark James won a libel action against blogger Jacqui Thompson last year

A blogger is facing £190,000 court costs after losing a high profile legal battle with Carmarthenshire council's chief executive.

Jacqui Thompson was arrested for filming a council meeting in 2011 and went on to sue Mark James for libel.

He counter-sued for posts made on her blog and received £25,000 in damages.

The council said recovering the legal costs was "in the interests of the public purse", while Ms Thompson said it had "no hope of recovery."

Legal proceedings began in June 2011 when Ms Thompson, from Llanwrda, was arrested for refusing to stop filming a council meeting for her blog, in which she is critical of the authority.

She sued Mr James the following November and he successfully counter-sued.

The High Court found Ms Thompson had run a campaign of "harassment, defamation and intimidation" against Mr James.

She lost a subsequent appeal and received a visit from High Court bailiffs earlier this year.

Carmarthenshire council covered Mr James' legal costs, a decision the Wales Audit Office later found to be unlawful.

The council was also awarded costs by the High Court and its executive board recently met to discuss whether they wished to pursue them from Ms Thompson.

Council leader Emlyn Dole, said the "decision was to pursue the full costs awarded to the council by the High Court, in the interests of the public purse".

Ms Thompson said she was "extremely concerned" about the decision.

She added: "It's such a huge amount of money I would have thought they'd realise there was no hope of recovery.

"I have said repeatedly that I have no money so I have no idea what they are planning to do."

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