Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones ordered to pay $1bn in damages to families of Sandy Hook shooting victims

The far-Right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was on Wednesday ordered to pay nearly $1billion in damages to the families of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting for falsely claiming the massacre was a hoax.

The $965m (£870m) compensation decision was reached by a jury following a three-week civil trial in Waterbury, Connecticut, not far from where a gunman killed 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary in the deadliest school shooting in US history.

Lawyers for families of eight victims during closing arguments last week said Mr Jones cashed in for years on lies about the shooting, which drove traffic to his website InfoWars and boosted sales of its various products.

InfoWars could be pushed to declare bankruptcy if forced to pay the full amount – one of the highest defamation awards in US history.

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