Former principal's $300k defamation suit over Facebook posts

TWO people accused of posting comments about Kimberley College's ex-principal and some of his family on social media are being sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars for alleged defamation.

The District Court claim alleges there were 19 defamatory publications by Troy Ford on the Kimberley College Concerns Facebook page, between June 3 and 29, last year.

Former principal Paul Thomson is suing Mr Ford, of Mount Cotton, for $300,000.

His wife, Jennifer Thomson, daughter Amy Ferguson, the college's former chief financial officer, and her husband Kevin Ferguson, the ex-business manager, are each suing for $140,000.

Mr Thomson, his wife, their daughter Amy and son-in-law were sacked by the college in June last year, after first being suspended.

Paul and Jennifer Thomson.
Paul and Jennifer Thomson.

Mr and Mrs Thomson and Mr and Mrs Ferguson claim Mr Ford continued to publish defamatory material after being sent a concerns notice on September 9 last year.

One post about Mr Thomson allegedly said: "To all the teachers you guy's should be excited. The rein of your fascist leader is about to end …"

The claim says some posts were intended to mean Mr Thomson was egotistical, a bully, someone who was not held accountable for his actions and a criminal.

One post which named Amy Leigh Ferguson was intended to mean that Mrs Ferguson was an imbecile, mentally detached from reality and a person who undermined teachers, the claim alleges.

One of the Facebook posts, on June 5, last year, which included an image, said: "Just found a photo of Kevin with his own head up his arse''.

Mr Thomson and Mr and Mrs Ferguson also are suing Elizabeth Ann Mazza of Cornubia over eight posts she allegedly made to the Kimberley College Concerns Facebook site in May and June last year.

Mr Thomson is claiming $300,000, Amy Ferguson is claiming $240,000 and Kevin Ferguson is claiming $120,000.

Some posts were intended to mean the three plaintiffs were liars, thieves, conceited, pompous, corrupt people, who stole money used to pay for luxury cars, houses and overseas holidays, the claim alleges.

Mr Ford and Ms Mazza are yet to respond to the claims.

The two claims follow a claim for $750,000 in damages for alleged defamation by Mr Thomson, Mrs Ferguson and Mr Ferguson against Kimberley College and four directors.

They claim they were defamed in a letter sent to parents, teachers, families and others connected to the college by board of directors chairman Paul Wilton on June 1, last year.

The college and directors are yet to respond.