David Leyonhjelm has been spared a visit from a sheriff’s officer to put stickers on his property after agreeing to pay Sarah Hanson-Young’s $125,000 defamation award into court.
The Greens senator was awarded the damages plus interest in November after a Federal Court judge found the then-Liberal Democrat senator defamed her, was motivated by malice and intended publicly shaming her.
Mr Leyonhjelm’s appeal against the decision will be heard virtually by the Full Court on May 11.
The case came before Justice Steven Rares on Friday when Senator Hanson-Young’s barrister Sue Chrysanthou said Mr Leyonhjelm hadn’t paid any of the money.
Her client was a senator and there was no suggestion that if the judgment money was paid, she would not be in a position to repay it if he won his appeal, she said.
“We have had to take steps ….. the sheriff was to come to Mr Leyonhjelm’s house next week to put stickers on his property,,” Ms Chrysanthou said.
Further, her client’s legal costs, payable by Mr Leyonhjelm, were in the order of at least $300.000.
“We understand he owns a number of properties and has sufficient assets to meet the debt”.
Mr Leyonhjelm’s barrister, Dr Gillian Dempsey, said the Parliamentary assets list showed Senator Hanson-Young had no assets apart from a mortgaged house.
Her client then agreed to pay $125,000 into court pending the outcome of the appeal.
“That should forestall the use of the sheriff at the moment,” the judge said.
If the money was not paid before May 1, the appeal would be stayed.
Justice Richard White in November found the then-senator, who demanded she “stop shagging men”, had portrayed his colleague as a hypocrite and misandrist,
Mr Leyonhjelm had also wrongly stated she had made an absurd claim along the lines that “all men are rapists”.