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Rindos v Hardwick

    Rindos V Hardwick was a landmark case of defamation in 1993 where Mr Gil Hardwick alleged paedophilia gaisnt a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Western Australia. Mr Hardwick lived in Derby, in the far north west of Western Australia at that time, and had professional differences with Mr Rindos, and made his claims against him via a Usenet group on the Internet.
    The Rindos V Hardwick case was the first case of defamtion won against a defendant for claims made on the Internet. The claims were shown to be baseless, and in fact Professer Rindos enjoys very high regard in anthropological circles.
    Professor Rindos was awarded damages of $40,000, a considerable damages amount for this type of claim, particularly in an internet posting, but the judge considered the harm done to the character of Professor Rindos was sufficient to award such damamges. Mr Hardwick offered no defence, and afterwards declared himslef bankrupt.
    The judgement in the case can be read here [1]
    Once Mr hardwick availed himself of bankruptcy laws to avoid having to pay Mr Rindos any compensation he continued to target him with accusations in the Usenet, and moved to margaret River, in the far south west of WA, where he has been very public in presenting himself as an historian and anthropologist of note. But what he his most noted for is that in 2006 he was charged by Busselton police with indecent dealings with a child under the age of 13, and computers were taken from his place of residence allegedly containing pornographic images of children. It will be interesting to see if the man who through stones lives in a glass house and will have his karma come back to bite him on the bum. Whilst the presumption of innocence must remain whilst these charges await resolution, noetheless it highlights a certain juxtaposition from being the accuser to becoming the accused, even if it is thirteen years too late for some.
    Mr Hardwick has been a vocal member of the community in Margaret River, writing many letters to the local media, and even has a website entitled "world." On the 31 of January he had printed his most recent letter to our local newspaper, which adds to his litany of abuse against local people concerned with sound development practices in Margaret River, which can be found here [2].