Tradie sues over ‘Australia’s rudest repairman’ tag
A Queensland tradie who claims he has been ridiculed on a tabloid television show and dubbed "Australia's rudest repairman" has asked a court to force the TV network to pull its story from the internet.
Byron Cockburn, 59, owner of Brisbane-based Same Day Appliance Repairs Pty Ltd, alleges A Current Affair ran a defamatory story on him on televisions nationwide on September 6 where it called his business practices dishonest, saying he overcharged customers and claiming he told an unhappy customer he hoped her house would burn down.
He alleges the report by staffer Chris Allen greatly injured his character, credit and reputation and brought into public hatred, ridicule and contempt, according to documents filed in the Federal Court in Brisbane.
Mr Cockburn has asked the court to force the Nine Network to take the story down from Facebook and various websites and to be permanently ban the network from republishing the story.
He has also sued unhappy former customer Keriana Scarlett, and former Same Day Appliance Repairs staffer Steven White, whose interviews were included in the broadcast.
Mr Cockburn alleges in his claim that Nine, Ms Scarlett and Mr White are responsible for defaming him by calling him dishonest and for quoting for jobs and then also allegedly requiring further payment to complete the job.
Mr Cockburn also alleges that he was defamed when Mr White implied he charged customers more if they have an appearance of wealth.
In the TV segment Mr White said Mr Cockburn used to ask him to report back to him on arrival at the customer's home on whether the family were affluent.
Mr Cockburn also said he was defamed when the show aired claims that Mr Cockburn had told a customer with a broken dishwasher that he hoped her house burns down.
Nine Network Australia has not yet filed a defence to the claims.
The case is due in court on October 13 for its first case management hearing.
Originally published as Tradie sues over 'Australia's rudest repairman' tag