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Retired lawyer faces jail for 'harassing' Kate and Gerry McCann - Telegraph - Page 2 Mm11

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Retired lawyer faces jail for 'harassing' Kate and Gerry McCann - Telegraph

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Post by Tony Bennett on 31.01.12 10:40

http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/McCanns-legal-action-ex-solicitor-Madeleine-slurs/story-15087257-detail/story.html

McCanns take legal action against ex-solicitor over Madeleine slurs

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 Leicester Mercury

A former solicitor could be jailed for repeatedly accusing Kate and Gerry McCann of covering up the 'death' of their daughter Madeleine.

Lawyers for the Rothley couple are taking civil action against Tony Bennett to try to stop him making allegations that they were involved in Madeleine's disappearance from the Portuguese resort of Praia de Luz in May 2007.

​Tony Bennett could be jailed for repeatedly accusing Kate and Gerry McCann of covering up the 'death' of their daughter Madeleine

Mr Bennett is secretary of an organisation called the Madeleine Foundation, which repeatedly claimed the three-year-old was not abducted.

The 64-year-old, of Harlow, Essex, signed a High Court agreement in November 2009, to say he would not persist with his accusations.

Court papers say: "The Defendant (Mr Bennett) undertakes not to repeat allegations that the Claimants (The McCanns) are guilty of, or are suspected of, causing the death of their daughter Madeleine McCann: and/or disposing of her body and/or of lying about what happened and/or of seeking to cover up what they had done."

Mr Bennett is accused of being in contempt of court for breaching the agreement in leaflets, books and internet postings.

There will be a hearing at The Queen's Bench Division of the High Court in London next week.

The McCann's spokesman Clarence Mitchell yesterday told the Leicester Mercury: "The matter is in hand with Kate and Gerry's lawyers. It has been pretty distressing for them.

"He has accused them of lying and that is a prima facie libel.

"Kate and Gerry do not want this but he (Mr Bennett) has persisted with making hurtful and untrue allegations about them and they want it to stop.

"They feel enough is enough.

"It is the case that he could face jail."

Madeleine's parents were considered suspects in her disappearance by Portuguese police in the early stages of the investigation, but were subsequently completely cleared of any wrongdoing.

In 2007, Mr Bennett launched a private prosecution against the McCanns, alleging child neglect, but it was thrown out by magistrates. In summer 2009, the Madeleine Foundation delivered leaflets around Rothley relating to the youngster's disappearance.

Mr Bennett was unavailable to comment yesterday.

In a story about his prosecution in the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Bennett said: "I have done my best to comply with the undertaking but I would argue to the courts it was an unreasonably wide undertaking to sign.

"In the last two years, I have not written specifically about the details of how she (Madeleine) might have died or how the body was hidden.

"Three of my colleagues in the Madeleine Foundation distributed a small quantity of leaflets in Rothley. I would honestly say perhaps that was a leaflet distribution too far."

He added on the Madeleine Foundation website: "It will be a strange thing if the court decides that in this land noted for its commitment to free speech, I am not allowed to discuss what is freely available to be distributed, and debated, in most of the rest of Europe."


+++++++

Correia da Manha 30 January 2012 (Google translation)

http://www.cmjornal.xl.pt/detalhe/noticias/nacional/portugal/arrisca-cadeia-por-assediar-casal-mccann

Lawyer and president of the Madeleine Foundation faces prison for defaming Kate and Gerry

Risks jail for harassing McCanns

Tony Bennett, a retired lawyer who heads a private foundation with the name of Madeleine McCann, Madeleine Foundation, faces a possible prison sentence if found guilty of harassment of Kate and Gerry McCann.

The parents of little Maddie, who disappeared in 2007 in Praia da Luz in the Algarve, sued Tony Bennett the lawyer in attributing the authorship of a smear campaign against them. According to British newspaper said yesterday the 'Sunday Telegraph', the alleged harassment of Kate and Gerry McCann have gone through the release of public leaflets and publications, in which Tony Bennett argues that the couple is allegedly responsible for her death.

The couple sued the lawyer and, at the beginning of February, a British court can decide to order the same prison as well as the payment of compensation, which the lawyer can hardly bear.


+++++++

http://www.anorak.co.uk/310199/madeleine-mccann/madeleine-mccann-is-tony-bennett-going-to-jail.html/





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Post by pennylane on 31.01.12 10:48

I just posted on MM re Leic Mercury:

That is a rather good article imo, except where it says the McCanns were 'completely cleared of any wrong doing,' which we all know is absolutely not the case!

Excellent comment at the very end too, Tony!

He added on the Madeleine Foundation website: "It will be a strange thing if the court decides that in this land noted for its commitment to free speech, I am not allowed to discuss what is freely available to be distributed, and debated, in most of the rest of Europe."

Bravo Mr Bennett, God bless you.... and may yourself and Goncalo Amaral prevail against these high-priced TM bullies, and their tyrannical attempt to thwart people putting forth their grave concerns regarding the major discrepancies in the McCanns version of events. clapping

Correia da Manha 30 January 2012, running your story also. Well done Tony roses
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Post by ShrinkingViolet on 31.01.12 14:04

HI Tony

Best of luck with everything. I am disgusted at the way in whch the McCanns are allowed to bully and intimidate everyone into believing them. What an utter load of bs.

I can not understand why you're giving them the heads up on your every move though. Please keep at least some of your powder dry.
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Post by tiny on 31.01.12 15:00

@ShrinkingViolet wrote:HI Tony

Best of luck with everything. I am disgusted at the way in whch the McCanns are allowed to bully and intimidate everyone into believing them. What an utter load of bs.

I can not understand why you're giving them the heads up on your every move though. Please keep at least some of your powder dry.



perhaps its because Mr Bennett has nothing to hide unlike the mccanns.
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Post by jay2001 on 31.01.12 16:46

The article states that Tony has accused the Mcs of lying and that is libel.

There are so many inconsistencies in their story - too numerous to list here. That surely proves that they have lied, so how can that be libellous?
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Post by Gillyspot on 31.01.12 18:03

From Adam Tudor at Carter-Ruck to the Select Committee in 2009

"
358. The McCanns' lawyer, Adam Tudor, explained the advice he had given to the couple:

"We had a conversation about the PCC when Kate and Gerry first came to Carter-Ruck. It was quite a short conversation. The PCC is perceived, to a considerable extent still correctly, as being wholly media-friendly. It lacks teeth. It cannot award damages. It cannot force apologies. As soon as there is any dispute of fact between the newspaper and the victim of the libel, the PCC backs off and says, 'This needs to go to law."[323]""

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmcumeds/362/36208.htm

Surely a "dispute of fact" means it cannot be proven libel? Or am I being naive big grin

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Post by rainbow-fairy on 01.02.12 8:10

@jay2001 wrote:The article states that Tony has accused the Mcs of lying and that is libel.

There are so many inconsistencies in their story - too numerous to list here. That surely proves that they have lied, so how can that be libellous?
Exactly, jay2001, how can it be libel to suggest someone has lied, when that is demonstrably the case?
For instance, the shutters - their original lie if you like. We know that the shutters can't have been found the way Team McCann had said they were. They have regurgitated the shutters lie recently. This is a proven lie. Judges don't like lies, and if they lied about this, what else are they lying about (and why?)

____________________
"Ask the dogs, Sandra" - Gerry McCann to Sandra FelgueirasRetired lawyer faces jail for 'harassing' Kate and Gerry McCann - Telegraph - Page 2 670379



Truth is artless and innocent - like the eloquence of nature, it is clothed with simplicity and easy persuasion; always open to investigation and analysis, it seeks exposure because it fears not detection.

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Post by aiyoyo on 01.02.12 10:02

@Gillyspot wrote:From Adam Tudor at Carter-Ruck to the Select Committee in 2009

"
358. The McCanns' lawyer, Adam Tudor, explained the advice he had given to the couple:

"We had a conversation about the PCC when Kate and Gerry first came to Carter-Ruck. It was quite a short conversation. The PCC is perceived, to a considerable extent still correctly, as being wholly media-friendly. It lacks teeth. It cannot award damages. It cannot force apologies. As soon as there is any dispute of fact between the newspaper and the victim of the libel, the PCC backs off and says, 'This needs to go to law."[323]""

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmcumeds/362/36208.htm

Surely a "dispute of fact" means it cannot be proven libel? Or am I being naive big grin

Of course only a lawyer will say that because there is money to be made from that .

It's patently clear it's all about amassing MONEY for their defence that the mccanns were concerned about.
Even at that stage, Gerry had probably already sought legal advice about suing the papers and hinted about it to Sir Christopher when Sir Christopher made the offer to help them.
. Sir Christopher told LI that during a social occasion held in his house he told Gerry if it was money for damage then the PCC cannot award that, but nonetheless PCC is ever ready on the standby to help them to intervene and Gerry only have to ask.
Apparently, Gerry never take up the offer - he never did ask. One gets the impression he hinted to Sir Christopher he intends to go the legal route, which prompted Sir Christopher's comment about the money compensation for damages. Else why would Sir Christopher say anything about money compensation which is not only presumptuous but insulting to Gerry's integrity. Obviously when Sir Christopher offered to help Gerry must have indicated he rather go to the law.

At the LI Gerry conveniently lied about PCC's offer saying he did not remember Sir Christopher ever made the offer and if he did it must be lost in transit. Which is a blatant lie, as we now know, because how can that be so when this was a convo topic between them face to face at a social function at Sir Christopher's house. Sir Christopher even mentioned to LI that he handed Gerry some PCC's brochure or leaflet about procedures.

In a nutshell, Gerry wasnt interested in the PCC's remit or what they can do. To Gerry it wasnt just about stopping the papers from printing negative about them, or he would have taken up PCC's offer. He was more interested in how much MONEY he can get from the papers.
Sir Christopher made it clear to Gerry the option of MONEY was not something the PCC can do, even though they can intervene, and at the end of the day the choice is down to Gerry. Sir Christopher never ever did recommend that he uses the legal route which Gerry tried to imply when he was caught out lying at the LI.

The mccanns was taken surprised by Sir Christopher's sudden presentation of a statement to LI , in which it contradicts Gerry's version. Gerry was uncomfortable when he was caught lying so he tried to twist the situation to imply the legal avenue was Sir Christopher's idea.

From Day one it was about money for their fighting fund which they were in desperate need in case they were charged bearing in mind that at that stage in Sept 2007 they had no clue the case was going to be shelved. I am sure the shelving took even them by surprise as well as they'd expected to be charged.

This episode with Sir Christopher shows how Gerry is prepared to lie even under oath to fit his agenda.

So, that being the case, if there is a dispute of fact between Gerry Mccann and the victim of Gerry's obfuscation (in this case Sir Christopher) where does the law stand?
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Post by Guest on 01.02.12 10:27

Retired lawyer faces jail for 'harassing' Kate and Gerry McCann - Telegraph - Page 2 351181 Good post aiyoyo.
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Post by aiyoyo on 01.02.12 10:28

Oh, about the Telegraph's article, apart from objecting to the Chief reporter labelling us as a "small bunch of fanatics and tormentors" I take consolation that the mccanns were bugged by us so much so that they'd their lawyer CR constantly scrutinizing us, and this is now made known to the public.

This must leave the Pubic wondering why the mccanns spend time and money having their legal team monitoring fora; and questioning how their tackling of the "small bunch of fanatics" (excuse the pun) is going progress their search for Madeleine which should be their priority above all else. Their priority is all wrong and that speaks volume.

Anyhow, there are good in this bad article since MF and this site were given free publicity .
On top of that TB was quoted which is an improvement considering the UK newspapers are mindful of libel threat from the mccanns. The Telegraph delivered TB's message in a sly way by slipping in a few facts on a seemingly pro-mccanns stand when in fact they were mindful with their chosen words so as not to be used by the mccanns. Despite the on the surface bad article, the public are able to read between the lines - so all is not lost.
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Post by Liz Eagles on 01.02.12 11:01

I'm being a bit lazy here. Can someone give the exact figure (a rough estimate would do as we're never sure) that has been spent on the Madeleine case? The Fund (or is it a foundation now???) the cost to the PJ, the cost to UK?
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Post by crewman on 02.02.12 4:59

Tony, can you not use the equitable doctrine of estoppel in relation to the action being undertaken by the McCanns?

It seems that all the points of contention they sought to prevent you from repeating or publicising have been declared as unexplained and mysterious by themselves in various interviews, books and other publications. I believe they cannot prevent you from saying something that they have themselves admitted is not necessarily untrue.

You'll be more qualified than me to look into this avenue of defence, but I think it may be relevant in your situation.
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Post by Tony Bennett on 02.02.12 9:26

@crewman wrote:Tony, can you not use the equitable doctrine of estoppel in relation to the action being undertaken by the McCanns?

It seems that all the points of contention they sought to prevent you from repeating or publicising have been declared as unexplained and mysterious by themselves in various interviews, books and other publications. I believe they cannot prevent you from saying something that they have themselves admitted is not necessarily untrue.

You'll be more qualified than me to look into this avenue of defence, but I think it may be relevant in your situation.
Thank you very much, crewman, for stopping by and directing me to the law on estoppel. Especially for doing so at 1 minute to 5 in the morning.

I am not sure that the legal doctrine of estoppel is applicable in this case, but here for the record is a summary of this legal principle from Wikipedia:

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Estoppel is essentially a rule of evidence [3] whereby a person is barred from denying the truth of a fact that has already been settled. Where a court finds that a party has done something warranting a form of estoppel, that party is said to be "estopped" from making certain related arguments or claiming certain related rights. The defendant is said to be "estopped" from presenting the related defence, or the plaintiff is said to be "estopped" from making the related argument against the defendant. Lord Coke stated, "It is called an estoppel or conclusion, because a man's own act or acceptance stoppeth or closeth up his mouth to allege or plead the truth."[4]

Because estoppel is so factually dependent, it is perhaps best understood by considering specific examples.


  • Example 1: A city entered into a contract with another party. The contract stated that it had been reviewed by the city's counsel and that the contract was proper. Estoppel applied to estop the city from claiming the contract was invalid.[5]
  • Example 2: A creditor unofficially informs a debtor that the creditor forgives the debt between them. Even if such forgiveness is not formally documented, the creditor may be estopped from changing its mind and seeking to collect the debt, because that change would be unfair.
  • Example 3: A landlord informs a tenant that rent has been reduced, for example, because there was construction or a lapse in utility services. If the tenant relies on this statement in choosing to remain in the premises, the landlord could be estopped from collecting the full rent.

Estoppel is closely related to the doctrines of waiver, variation, and election and is applied in many areas of law, including insurance, banking, employment, contracts, etc. In English law, the concept of legitimate expectation in the realm of administrative law and judicial review is estoppel's counterpart in public law, although subtle but important differences exist.
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