Loser in Karam defamation case files for bankruptcy

One of the men found to have defamed Joe Karam has applied for bankruptcy.

Mr Karam last month won one of the largest defamation payouts in the country against website publisher and online commentator Kent Parker and online commentator Victor Purkiss.

Mr Parker at the time told the Otago Daily Times he would appeal the decision of Justice Patricia Courtney, who ordered him to pay damages of $350,500.

Mr Purkiss was ordered to pay $184,500.

Mr Parker yesterday confirmed he was no longer intended to appeal the decision, and had instead applied for bankruptcy.

''I just don't have anything like that,'' Mr Parker, the Justice for Robin Bain spokesman, said.

''If I had anything like that money I would have been able to put a better defence than I did.''

Mr Parker admitted under cross-examination by Mr Karam's lawyer, Michael Reed QC, that he could not prove his claims.

Asked how he felt when filing for bankruptcy, he replied: ''I have kind of already dealt with it.''

He did not know the whereabouts of Mr Purkiss, whom the ODT has been unable to contact.

Mr Karam, who was also awarded payment of costs anticipated to be about $500,000, said: ''It is bloody disappointing he doesn't have any money.''

The David Bain supporter took a defamation case against the pair for a ''full-scale assault'' on his reputation after Mr Bain was in 2009 cleared of murdering five members of his family.

Mr Karam said last month if the pair did not pay him, he would instigate bankruptcy proceedings against them.

hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz

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