Ray Hadley appears in court for defamation case

Staff Writer

2GB's Ray Hadley was in court yesterday to defend claims he "destroyed the reputation" of a north-western Sydney fish-and-chip shop owner whose husband, Emran Ahmed, was convicted in 2007 of the aggravated indecent assault of a 17 year old student working for him.

On the air, Hadley called Kim Ahmed vile and a grub because she continued to support her husband.

He said he had been outraged by supporters of Mr Ahmed, including his wife, who he later learnt had taken an apprehended violence order out against the father of her husband’s victim. Hadley had also told his 2GB listeners to boycott the Ahmeds' shop.

Hadley agreed he had called Kim Ahmed "low", "unfit to run a business" and "a silly woman" on his program.

Defamation specialist Clive Evatt asked Hadley whether the main aim of his radio show was to entertain to which he replied "inform and entertain."

When Evatt asked what evidence Hadley had for his assertion that it was not Mr Ahmed’s first offence, Hadley replied, "because 87% of sexual assaults were repeat offenders."

At one stage in the proceedings yesterday, Evatt asked Hadley, "Do you know in the legal profession your name is ‘Maximum Ray’?." The lawyer was immediately shutdown by Justice Henric Nicholas who disallowed the question.

Hadley was in the dock for 2 hours while the court heard various 2GB broadcasts relating to the case.

Day 2

During an exchange between defamation lawyer Clive Evatt and Hadley, the 2GB host dismissed a suggestion he broadcast graphic details of how the 44-year-old business owner sexually assaulted a schoolgirl worker in his cool room.

''Would you regard those details as salacious,'' Evatt asked.

''I don't titillate people over child sexual offences,'' Hadley said.

At one point Hadley said he was being distracted during his testimony by laughter from the public gallery. A man then stood up in the public gallery and loudly said, ''if laughing distracts you, I'll excuse myself to allow this farce to continue'', and walked out.

When Evatt asked Hadley why he had not reported the Ahmed conviction dispassionately like the ABC newsreader John Hall would have reported it, Hadley replied:

''I don't listen to the ABC…You've got to change your listening habits Mr Evatt.''

The defamation lawyer also asked if Hadley stood by assertions about his client Kim Ahmed, including that she was a ''silly woman'' and ''unfit to run a business''. The 2GB host repeatedly asserted they were his deeply held opinions.

The case continues.

Read more in the Sydney Morning Herald

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