Sandy Easdale wins defamation case against local activist

Former Rangers chairman Sandy Easdale has been awarded £200,000 in damages after suing a self-styled '˜community activist' in Greenock.

Sandy Easdale. Picture: SNS

Easdale, who along with his brother James has a number of businesses based in the town, including bus giant McGills, took James Houston to court over comments made on social media.

Houston made a number of defamatory and false claims about Easdale.

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The IT consultant runs a community Facebook page and announced that he was running as a candidate in the upcoming council elections,

James Houston. Picture: Facebook

Houston alleged in a video posted online that companies Easdale were involved in were engaged in criminal activities and refused to take down the offensive posts despite repeated warnings.

The case at the Court of Session was uncontested by Houston, who was ordered to pay £100,000 to Easdale, and the same amount to Easdale-owned Clyde Metal Recycling.

Sandy Easdale resigned from the Rangers board in 2015, although he remains the fourth-largest shareholder, owning around 6% of the Ibrox club.

Announcing the news of his court win, Easdale issued a strongly worded statement suggesting that he would no longer accept being defamed.

James Houston. Picture: Facebook

“While it is regrettable that such an action had to be taken, I was left with no other option despite repeated requests to Mr Houston to stop making defamatory claims against me and my companies.

“For too long we have had to put up with nonsense like this written as fact on blogs and social media platforms - and this was one step too far. I am clear, as are others within our various businesses, that we will not hesitate to publicly defend our reputations where necessary.”

Houston wrote on Facebook: “At this moment in time I am unable to offer any comment regarding the news being reported this afternoon.

“It is a sensitive matter which I shall comment publicly upon when the time is right, nevertheless thank you for your concerns and support.”