Articles and legal news from the Atkinson Vinden Team.

Getting it right in Defamation


When making a publication, it is important in defamation matters, to get it right.

Terrance Flowers, who goes by his mother’s name of Kelly on social media, has had judgment entered in open court in his favour, by Chief Justice Quinlan of the Supreme Court of Western Australia, as a result of being wrongfully identified by the Seven Network as the person who abducted and held the four year old girl Cleo Smith for over two weeks.

Mr Flowers was mistakenly identified by the Seven Network in broadcasts, across social media posts and in an online article, despite his name being spelt differently from the man who was charged with abducting Cleo. After Cleo was found, in November, Seven used images from Mr Flowers’ Facebook page to publish with the incorrect stories, without the consent of Mr Flowers.  This was the subject of his Statement of Claim. The proceedings have been settled on confidential terms.

Fortunately, Western Australia Police located Cleo alone in a property belonging to Terence Darrell Kelly, who was charged with two offences, including forcibly or fraudulently taking, enticing away or detaining a child under the age of 16.


Protecting your reputation starts with simplifying the complex. This handy checklist should quickly point you in the right direction and help you understand whether you have a case, and where to start to secure the best possible outocme.