South West Wales

Blogger Jacqui Thompson could lose home to pay legal bill

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Media captionJacqui Thompson wrote a blog which was critical of the council

A blogger who lost a libel case with Carmarthenshire council's chief executive could be forced to sell her house to pay the legal costs.

Jacqui Thompson from Llanwrda faces a £190,000 bill after a failed libel action against Mark James.

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

On Friday, the council was granted a charging order which means Ms Thompson can be ordered to sell her home if she cannot pay her debt.

Ms Thompson was arrested in June 2011 after refusing to stop filming a council meeting for her blog, in which she was critical of the council.

She sued Mr James the following November, but he successfully counter-sued for posts made on her blog and received damages.

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

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

Speaking outside court, Ms Thompson said: "They could enforce the charging order at any time. They could do it tomorrow, they do it in 10 years' time."

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