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Dave Hunt libel trial

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Dave Hunt libel trial

Post by Tony Bennett on 11.05.13 8:24

In 2011, the Sunday Times published a well-sourced article saying that Dave Hunt, who lives a few miles away from me in Harlow, ran a criminal network so vast and powerful that Scotland Yard had given up trying to do anything about his network.

Hunt was outraged and sued for libel, here is a report in The Guardian:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Sunday Times gangster article crucified me, says London businessman

David Hunt sued for libel after story claimed he was a close friend of Reggie Kray and ran an East End criminal network
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 1 May 2013 11.43 BST




David Hunt sued the Sunday Times after it published an article that accused him of running a criminal network in London’s East End.
A London businessman who says he is not an East End crime lord was described as a close friend by the late Reggie Kray, the high court has been told.

David Hunt, 52, visited the notorious London gangster in prison "once or twice" before his death in 2000 but denied he was close to Kray, the court heard on Tuesday.

Hunt is suing the Sunday Times for libel over an article that accused him of running a criminal network so vast that Scotland Yard regarded him as too big to take on.

Giving evidence on the second day of the trial, Hunt denied he was involved in a string of criminal activities, including organising prostitution, drug smuggling and protection rackets.

He told the high court how he was "crucified" and heartbroken by the Sunday Times article, headlined "Underworld kings cash in on taxpayer land fund", on 23 May 2010.

Hunt said he was "shocked" when he first saw the Sunday Times article that described him as having been implicated in murder, drug trafficking and fraud.

"I lost my parents when I was a young lad and this affected me similar to that," he told the judge, Mr Justice Simon. "It crucified me."

Asked by his barrister, Hugh Tomlinson QC, how he felt about being described as the head of an organised crime group, Hunt said: "No way in the world is it true. Heartbreaking. Crucifies me. Absolutely crucifies me."

The court heard how Hunt's name is still known among people in Canning Town, where he provided security for pubs in the 80s after training as a professional boxer.

Questioned by the Sunday Times barrister, Gavin Millar QC, about why people would use his name if he was not involved in any criminal activity, Hunt told the court: "Maybe for things they shouldn't be using my name for. Maybe for drugs. They would use my name to give themselves a licence perhaps."

He added: "I'm a man who grew up in a tough area and people never let that go. I can't be responsible for that, sir. That's why I'm here today."

Hunt, the youngest of 13 siblings, said he had been arrested seven times in the 80s and had worked for a scrap business owned by one of his brothers. He now runs a land and property business in London that generates £30,000 a week "or maybe more", the court heard.

He denied accusations that he had threatened witnesses and other individuals involved in pubs or bars in east London and Soho.

Tomlinson, for Hunt, told the judge: "He is a man from Canning Town. He has not gone through higher education and the professionals, or anything of that kind. But he is not a criminal mastermind. He is not someone who is running an immensely sophisticated gang operation in the way that the [Sunday] Times seeks to contend."

The libel trial is shaping up to be one of the most expensive in recent years, with at least three top QCs having appeared before three senior judges since pre-trial hearings began at the high court in 2011.

Simon is judging the libel trial after taking over from Mr Justice Tugendhat and Mr Justice Eady, two senior libel judges who separately heard the claim in its earlier stages.


++++++++++++++++++


If I was to publish all that I knew about Dave Hunt, I would be done for libel as well.

One of Hunt's brothers runs the Cricketers Arms in Hornchurch. There are reports of certain top underworld figures meeting there with a senior police officer at 4.00am. That's the time these things happen, apparently.

The only safe thing I think I can say about Dave Hunt is that I think he is still a Director of West Ham Football Club.

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Re: Dave Hunt libel trial

Post by PeterMac on 11.05.13 8:32

@Tony Bennett wrote:
If I was to publish all that I knew about Dave Hunt, I would be done for libel as well.
Quite so.
If you tell the TRUTH, and give the FACTS, you can be sued for libel.
"Oh Brave new World, that has such people in it."

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Re: Dave Hunt libel trial

Post by Tony Bennett on 11.05.13 8:44

I am just catching up with this story, I don't know how I've missed it as it is probably going to be one of the most sensational libel trials ever.

Here, my good friend Mr Justice Tugendhat made a key decision in favour of the good and upright folk who run the Metropolitan Police these days.

This bit caught my eye:

Stephenson and Soca have accused the Sunday Times of receiving the confidential documents after they were leaked "unlawfully by one or more officers or civilian employees".

How disgraceful!

Officers of the Metropolitan Police have been whistleblowing by passing documents revealing police corruption to the press.

Every one of these leakers should be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act.

Then they should be punished appropriately.

By being...

Hung,

Drawn,

and

Quartered.


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Sunday Times loses libel disclosure battle with police

Broadsheet wanted confidential documents from Met and Serious Organised Crime Agency handed over in libel case
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 21 June 2011 15.30 BST






Times Newspapers, the publisher of the Times and Sunday Times, is being sued for libel by David Hunt.
The Sunday Times has lost a court battle to force the commissioner of the Metropolitan police and the Serious Organised Crime Agency to disclose confidential documents which the newspaper could use as evidence in a libel trial in October.

Times Newspapers, the publisher of the Times and Sunday Times, is being sued for libel by David Hunt over the accusation of committing "very serious criminal offences" and who the paper claims "has not been brought to justice". According to a high court judgment made public on Tuesday, Scotland Yard and Soca have "admitted that [Hunt] is the head of an organised crime group".

The Sunday broadsheet is accused of libelling Hunt stating he was "guilty of very serious criminal offences committed by himself and others whom he organises".

The Sunday Times wants to use the confidential documents, some of which are alleged to have been leaked to the paper by a police whistleblower, as part of its defence in the libel trial, listed to be heard at the high court next month.

However, Mr Justice Tugendhat on Tuesday refused to order Scotland Yard and Soca to disclose the police files – which relates to whether the police knew of Hunt's alleged involvement in the crime group – in a hearing at the high court.

Tugendhat said: "In my judgment, as matters stand today, it is not possible for the court to be satisfied that disclosure of any documents which are the subject of this action is necessary in order to dispose fairly of the libel claim ... For these reasons I will not order the disclosure sought by the publishers at this stage."

Stephenson and Soca have accused the Sunday Times of receiving the confidential documents after they were leaked "unlawfully by one or more officers or civilian employees".

The newspaper has declined to disclose the source of the documents. It contends that the information was lawfully received in the course of legitimate newsgathering on matters of public interest or for the purposes of defending the libel proceedings.

In its public interest defence of the libel action, the Sunday Times alleged that Hunt was a crime boss "who had not been brought to justice and was seeking to benefit financially from business dealings" as described in the disputed article.

The libel trial is listed to be heard at the high court on 17 October.

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Re: Dave Hunt libel trial

Post by russiandoll on 11.05.13 9:20

More today from Times crime correspondent but only a short section, you need to subscribe to read the rest.





Corruption within Scotland Yard has enabled a vast criminal network to operate
in London for two decades with virtual impunity, a court was told.

Three Metropolitan Police officers have accused some of their colleagues of
leaking police intelligence to alleged criminals, tampering with evidence
and attempting to frustrate prosecutions.


In evidence to the High Court this week, one of the detectives alleged that
his inquiries into organised crime were thwarted when he was made the
subject of a “flawed and malicious” investigation by the Met’s
anti-corruption command.


Behind the story:




Crime bosses had a £1m price on our heads, says former detective David McKelvey



David McKelvey, a former detective chief inspector, claims that a £1 million contract to kill three police officers...

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Re: Dave Hunt libel trial

Post by Tony Bennett on 11.05.13 9:54

@russiandoll wrote:More today from Times crime correspondent but only a short section, you need to subscribe to read the rest.

Corruption within Scotland Yard has enabled a vast criminal network to operate in London for two decades with virtual impunity...Three Metropolitan Police officers have accused some of their colleagues of leaking police intelligence to alleged criminals, tampering with evidence and attempting to frustrate prosecutions. In evidence to the High Court this week, one of the detectives alleged that his inquiries into organised crime were thwarted when he was made the subject of a “flawed and malicious” investigation by the Met’s anti-corruption command...[SNIPPED]

David McKelvey, a former detective chief inspector, claims that a £1 million contract to kill three police officers...
Thank you. 'russiandoll', this is a case the Sunday Times MUST win - and then we need if possible to clear out the putrid, wicked senior Met Police officers who are corruptly allowing gangsters and career criminals to flourish.

This is precisely what Les Balkwell has been up against in Essex during his 11-year fight to find out what really happened to his son

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