Radio presenter gets 'just deserts'

ISABEL HAYES
Last updated 19:23 19/12/2013

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Five years after he labelled the wife of a convicted sex offender a ''grub'' and told her she had got her ''just deserts'', the tables have turned on Australian radio shock jock Ray Hadley.

Hadley's ''unbridled tirade'' of abuse against Kim Ahmed came straight from the gutter, a judge from the country's supreme court said on Thursday as he ordered Hadley and his station to pay Ahmed A$280,000 (NZ$303,648) in damages.

Ahmed was targeted by Hadley after she supported her husband, Emran Ahmed, when he was convicted of indecently assaulting a 17-year-old girl in their north Sydney fish and chip shop in 2007.

Labelling her as ''vile'' and a ''grub'' after she took out an AVO against the victim's father, Hadley expressed his hope that her business would go under.

''I don't want to send people away from the shop if (Emran Ahmed) is no longer connected with it,'' Hadley said on-air in May 2008. ''But if this bloke has any connection with it (still) and his grub of a wife they should completely and utterly be sent out of business.''

When Ahmed unsuccessfully tried to take a defamation case against Hadley in the Federal Court, he crowed that he would go after her for costs and be ''absolutely delighted'' if she and her husband went broke.

''You silly, silly woman,'' Hadley said on-air in October 2009. ''You've got your just deserts.''

Hadley, who is currently being sued by a junior colleague for bullying, refused to comment on Thursday after Acting Justice William Nicholas found his ''poisoned arrows'' which were ''spat into the microphone'' had caused Ms Ahmed reputational harm.

''I am satisfied the broadcast caused her to suffer anxiety, alarm, distress and anger, as did the ordeal of these proceedings to obtain an award,'' the judge said, noting Hadley had never apologised and stood by his comments.

Ahmed sued Hadley and Harbour Radio, which operates 2GB, over the broadcasts made in 2008 and 2009. Following a civil trial earlier this year, a jury found Hadley had defamed Ahmed in several ways, including by making out she was a ''low contemptible woman'' who was unfit to run the shop and should be sent out of business.

Ahmed attracted Hadley's ire after her husband lost his appeal against his conviction and she took an AVO out against the girl's father, claiming he was loitering outside the shop and intimidating her.

She said she was shocked, hurt and horrified when she heard Hadley taking aim at her in one of his broadcasts.

''I thought, here we go again, he is starting his radio campaign again,'' she told the court. ''And I was scared because my husband had no connection with the business at all at that stage and it was an attack on myself,'' she said.

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Ahmed sold the shop in 2008 and now works in child protection. Speaking outside court, she said she works with victims of physical and sexual abuse on a daily basis and stood by her good reputation.

''Everything that was thrown at me in court was all proved to be false,'' she said. ''Hopefully it sends a clear message to not only (Ray Hadley) but other presenters: you need to tell the truth.''

- AAP

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