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How did newspaper lawyers allow editors to publish Jefferies' libels?

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How did newspaper lawyers allow editors to publish Jefferies' libels?

Post by ROSA on 30.07.11 2:26

How did newspaper lawyers allow editors to publish Jefferies' libels?

It was an open and shut case. There was not the least surprise in Christopher Jefferies having won his libel actions against eight newspapers.

He was demeaned and defamed in the coverage following his arrest - a wrongful arrest, in my view - "on suspicion" of murdering Joanna Yeates.

There are questions for the police to answer about how they handled the matter, of course. Once again, the relationship between police and press should come under scrutiny.

But leaving that aside, let's just concentrate on the papers themselves. What were editors thinking in publishing material that was so obviously libellous?

Did they not learn from the very similar case of Robert Murat, the Englishman who just happened to live near the Portuguese town from where Madeleine McCann vanished?

Mr Murat got his just desserts when he sued papers for destroying his reputation. But that didn't stop editors doing it all over again by assassinating the character of the innocent Mr Jefferies.

Soon after his arrest, I wrote a piece for the London Evening Standard, Joanna Yeates case demonstrates 'casual cruelty of journalism, in which I pointed to crass examples of coverage in several papers.

Over a period of three days, the heavily slanted, often inaccurate, stories painted a grotesque picture of a respectable retired school master.

He was alleged to have acted in an inappropriate, over-sexualised manner with his pupils in the past. Untrue.

He was alleged to have invaded the privacy of his tenants who occupied the two flats he let. Untrue.

It was suggested that he was an associate of a convicted paedophile and that there were grounds to investigate whether he was responsible for an unsolved murder dating back to 1974. Untrue in every respect.

And, of course, it was suggested he was responsible for the murder of Ms Yeates. Untrue.

What were the office lawyers in some of Britain's major national newspapers doing to allow this stuff into print?

They were seriously defamatory allegations. Did they turn a blind eye? Or did editors ignore their advice?

Anyone got a clue?

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A busy lawyer

Post by Guest on 30.07.11 9:16

Louis Charalambous who acted for Chris Jefferies was also the lawyer for Robert Murat, apologies if anyone has mentioned that already. I feel that one of his clients deserved his award, I won't say which one!


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