Zabrina Collins was ordered by a judge to pay €5,000 damages for a “vitriolic and personalised” attack on the character of a Mayo man who opposes the beliefs and teachings of the Church of Scientology of which she is a leading member.
Judge James O’Donohoe in the Circuit Civil Court said allegations by her against Peter Griffiths of criminal activity, hate mongering, and links to gay pornographic movies of teenage boys “were largely untrue and grossly defamatory”.
He said references in an email from Ms Collins to a Dublin headmaster, describing Mr Griffiths as not being a fit person to engage with impressionable students, was “particularly distasteful” but had not gone far enough to brand him a paedophile.
Judge O’Donohoe told Seamus Ó Tuathail, counsel for Mr Griffiths, of Cual Gara, Teeling St, Ballina, Co Mayo, that Ms Collins had sought to prove the truth of each and every allegation against his client despite the fact there had not been a specific pleading of such in the defence.
Judge O’Donohoe also gave judgment in a second case in which Ms Collins, a chiropractor, of The Boulevard, Mount Eustace, Tyrelstown, Dublin 15, and Scientologist Michael O’Donell, a marketing consultant of Cherrywood Lawn, Clondalkin, Dublin, sued Mr Griffiths and also embalmer John McGhee, of Armstrong Grove, Clara, Co Offaly, for assault and battery.
The judge awarded Ms Collins and Mr O’Donnell a total of €3,500 against Mr McGhee for assault and battery. Mr Griffiths, he said, played a lesser role by videoing the assault but consorted with Mr McGhee and for harassment and assault he awarded Ms Collins and Mr O’Donnell €2,000 damages against Mr Griffiths.
Mr Beatty and Mr Ó Tuathail agreed the question of costs could be dealt with by the court at a later date.
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