The ex-wife of a multi-millionaire businessman is today facing an estimated £300,000 legal bill after losing her Facebook libel appeal.

Nicola Stocker, from Longwick, claimed property developer Ronald Stocker had tried to kill her, during an online exchange with his new partner Deborah Bligh in December 2012.

Mr Stocker, 67, won a libel case against his ex-wife at London's High Court in 2016 after it was ruled the comments wrongly painted him as a "dangerous and thoroughly disreputable man".

The judge said the libel was "not trivial", and assessed the appropriate compensation at £5,000 - though Mr Stocker did not want a penny.

Fifty-year-old Mrs Stocker – who still lives in the £3 million former family home in Lower Icknield Way – challenged the judge's ruling at the Appeal Court.

But, after her case was rejected by three senior judges, she now faces a £210,000 bill from the original trial back in March 2016 and up to an estimated extra £100,000 for the failed appeal.

The trial judge said “each brought the worst out of each other” and they “behaved to each other in a manner which does not credit either of them.”

But it was found the Facebook listings in December 2012 that Mr Stocker had tried to strangle her were libellous and damaged his reputation.

Mr Stocker, who now lives 20 minutes away from the family home in a £2.5m detached house at Aylesbury Road, Aston Clinton, denied trying to strangle her and claims all he did was put a hand over her mouth to stop her waking their son who was asleep upstairs.

During the trial, the court heard Mrs Stocker’s allegations were published to 21 individuals who had authorised access to the page.

They were also visible to 110 of Ms Bligh's "friends" and to their Facebook "friends".

Ruling in favour of Mr Stocker, Mr Justice Mitting said a comment on Facebook was the same as a comment posted on an office noticeboard and Mrs Stocker had no right to assume it was private.

The judge found Mr Stocker did "in temper" attempt to silence his ex-wife, but was not satisfied he had threatened to kill her and therefore her comments had a defamatory meaning.

Challenging his decision, Mrs Stocker argued the judge's conclusion on the meaning of her posts was wrong.

She also said he had not applied the correct legal test when deciding whether she had "published" the comments.

Today Lady Justice Sharp sitting with Lord Justice McFarlane and Sir John Laws dismissed her appeal.

She said: “It is unfortunate to say the least that attempts to resolve this litigation, including by mediation, have proved to be unsuccessful."

The judges rejected her claims that the trial judge had not applied the correct legal test and said he had “made no error” in reaching his decision.

Lady Justice Sharp added: "It seems to me that the various arguments raised for Mrs Stocker tend to divert attention away from some basic points.

"She was the originator of the libel, she was aware that the particular Facebook platform concerned was a semi-public one and she deliberately posted on that platform without thinking about who else might see what she posted."