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TIMES LIBEL - McCanns win £55,000 damages for 'disgraceful' behaviour by newspaper

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TIMES LIBEL - McCanns win £55,000 damages for 'disgraceful' behaviour by newspaper

Post  bb1 on Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:33 pm

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/oct/02/gerry-mccann-madeleine-sunday-times-libel-payout?CMP=twt_gu

Gerry McCann attacks ‘disgraceful’ Sunday Times after £55k libel payout

Payout follows allegations that couple deliberately hindered search for daughter Madeleine

Gerry McCann, the father of missing Madeleine, has accused the Sunday Times of behaving “disgracefully”, after winning a libel payout from the newspaper in a case he believes proves how little the industry has changed following the phone-hacking scandal.

McCann and his wife Kate were handed £55,000 in libel damages from the Murdoch-owned paper over a front page story which alleged that the couple had deliberately hindered the search for their daughter, who went missing in Portugal seven years ago.

The McCanns said in a statement: “The Sunday Times has behaved disgracefully. There is no sign of any post-Leveson improvement in the behaviour of newspapers like this.”

Writing in the Guardian, Gerry McCann repeated calls he made to the public inquiry into press intrusion, conducted by Lord Justice Leveson, for a “quick, effective way of correcting false reports in newspapers” and called on the next government to implement the proposals set out by Leveson but rejected by much of the industry.

After an 11-month battle for redress, the McCanns said the Sunday Times had failed to give them a proper opportunity to comment on what they called “grotesque and utterly false” allegations, failed to publish the full response they made and offered a “half-baked, inadequate response”. Even when the paper agreed to retract the allegations and apologise two months after publication, this was “tucked away” on an inside page. After this, the couple hired libel lawyers Carter-Ruck to sue for damages, they said.

The revelation of the libel damages comes as the Metropolitan police are investigating an 80-page dossier of abusive tweets, Facebook posts and messages on online forums aimed at the McCanns. A spokesman for the couple said newspaper articles helped feed into the abuse from trolls, who felt “vindicated” by them.

In the statement, the McCanns said: “Despite the history of admitted libels in respect of my family by so many newspapers, the Sunday Times still felt able to print an indefensible front page story last year and then force us to instruct lawyers – and even to start court proceedings – before it behaved reasonably. But the damage to reputation and to feelings has been done and the Sunday Times can sit back and enjoy its sales boost based on lies and abuse.

“This is exactly why parliament and Lord Justice Leveson called for truly effective independent self-regulation of newspapers – to protect ordinary members of the public from this sort of abuse. The fact is that most families could not take the financial and legal risk of going to the high court and facing down a big press bully as we have. That is why News UK and the big newspapers have opposed Leveson’s reforms and the arbitration scheme which is a necessary part of it.”

Carter-Ruck agreed to act on a no-win, no-fee basis, a system threatened by proposed changes to the law. The £55,000 is to be donated to two charities for missing people and sick children.

The Sunday Times said: “We have agreed a settlement with Mr and Mrs McCann.”

Much of the industry, with the exception of the Guardian, the Independent and the Financial Times, has set up its own regulatory body, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso), which started life three weeks ago. In the statement, McCann calls Ipso the “latest industry poodle”. The McCanns have been involved in the Hacked Off campaign to tighten press regulation.

His latest experience underlined the need for change, said McCann. “The cost to the paper is peanuts – the fee for a single advertisement will probably cover it. And there will be no consequences for anyone working there. Nothing will be done to ensure that in future reporters and editors try harder to get things right. And so the same people will do something similar, soon, to some other unfortunate family, who will probably not have our hard-earned experience of dealing with these things and who will probably never succeed in getting a correction or an apology.

“So what has changed in the newspaper industry since the Leveson report two years ago? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.”

A dossier of online abuse directed at the family is being examined by police. The material is said to include suggestions that the couple should be tortured or killed. One comment reportedly said: “These 2 should burn in hell.”

Scotland Yard said: “We can confirm we received a letter and documentation on 9 September which was passed to officers from Operation Grange. They are assessing its contents and consulting with the CPS and the McCann family.”

Operation Grange is the name for the Metropolitan police’s involvement in the search for Madeleine. She went missing in Portugal when aged three in May 2007.


Last edited by bb1 on Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:44 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: TIMES LIBEL - McCanns win £55,000 damages for 'disgraceful' behaviour by newspaper

Post  bb1 on Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:36 pm

Now, if the haters had only paid attention to what was being said here at the time....ah well. The haters aren't having a very good day, are they?

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Re: TIMES LIBEL - McCanns win £55,000 damages for 'disgraceful' behaviour by newspaper

Post  bb1 on Thu Oct 02, 2014 8:30 pm

Gerry writes in the Guardian:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/02/leveson-gerry-mccann-media-stories-before-truth

Leveson has changed nothing– the media still put ‘stories’ before the truth

As I know from experience, if papers tell lies about you, they’ll be able to get away with it pretty much scot free. The public backs change – and editors must act
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Gerry McCann

Nearly three years ago my wife, Kate, and I appeared before the Leveson inquiry to talk about the campaign of lies that was waged against us after our daughter Madeleine went missing. We described how our lives had been turned into a soap opera so that newspapers could make money, with no regard for truth, for the distress they were inflicting, or for the damage caused to the search for Madeleine. We asked Lord Justice Leveson to ensure that in future things would be different and that nobody would ever again have to endure the dishonest reporting we experienced, or at least that there would be some quick, effective way of correcting false reports in newspapers.

Nothing has changed since then. Big newspaper companies continue to put sales and profit before truth. The protection for ordinary people is as feeble as it always was.

A year ago, when Kate and I were experiencing a time of renewed hope as the Metropolitan police stepped up its new investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance, we received an email late on a Thursday night from the Sunday Times. Its reporter asked us to comment on information he planned to publish. This turned out to be a claim that for five years Kate, I and the directors of Madeleine’s Fund withheld crucial evidence about Madeleine’s disappearance. We rushed to meet his deadline for a response. In the vain hope that the Sunday Times would not publish such a clearly damaging and untrue story, we sent a statement to the newspaper. We denied the main tenet of the story and emphasised that since Madeleine’s disappearance we had fully cooperated with the police and that the directors of Madeleine’s Fund had always acted in her best interest.

However, the Sunday Times went ahead and published the report on its front page, largely ignoring our statement. We tried to settle this matter quickly and without legal action. I wrote to the editor asking for a correction, but all we got in response was an offer to publish a “clarification” and tweak a few lines of the article – but still to continue to publish it on the newspaper’s website. Indeed, further correspondence from the paper only aggravated the distress the original article had caused, created a huge volume of work and forced us to issue a formal complaint to get redress through our lawyers.

Eventually, two months after the article was published, a correction was printed, retracting all the allegations and apologising. But even then – and despite the grotesque nature of what it had falsely alleged on its front page – the apology was on an inside page and the word “apology” was absent from the headline. Since then, it has taken 11 months and the filing of a legal claim to get the Sunday Times to agree to damages, all of which we are donating to charity, and to get our right to tell the public that we had won the case. But the cost to the paper is peanuts – the fee for a single advertisement will probably cover it. And there will be no consequences for anyone working there.

Nothing will be done to ensure that in future reporters and editors try harder to get things right. And so the same people will do something similar, soon, to some other unfortunate family – who will probably not have our hard-earned experience of dealing with these things and who will probably never succeed in getting a correction or an apology.

So what has changed in the newspaper industry since the Leveson report two years ago? Absolutely nothing. Newspapers continue to put “stories” before the truth, and without much care for the victims.

They treat the people they write about as if they don’t exist. Wild animals are given more respect. They hide behind talk about the rights of the press while they routinely trash the rights of ordinary people. They constantly claim to stand up to the powerful, but they are the ones with the power, and they use it ruthlessly.

Legal action should be a last resort. A final route when all else has failed. I don’t blame Leveson. He recommended changes that would make a big difference. He wanted a press self-regulator that was not controlled by the big newspaper companies and that had real clout. If a paper told lies about you, you could go to this body and count on fast and fair treatment: it would not just let papers off the hook. More than that, Leveson wanted a cheap, quick arbitration service so that ordinary people did not need to resort to the law. Our experience shows this is a vital reform.

Parliament backed Leveson’s plan. The public backs it. So do we, and almost all the other victims who gave evidence to Leveson. Only one group of people is opposing this change – the perpetrators themselves, the same editors and newspaper owners who were responsible for all that cruelty. Instead of accepting the Leveson plan, these people, including the owner of the Sunday Times, have set up another sham regulator called Ipso, which is designed to do their bidding just like the old, disgraced Press Complaints Commission.

If in another year’s time the press still rejects the royal charter – itself already a compromise – then it will be time for parliament to deliver on the promises the party leaders made, and ensure that what Leveson recommended is actually delivered. Otherwise elements of the press will go on treating people with total contempt. This time, once again, it was Kate and I who were the targets. Next time it could be you.

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Few will weep tears for Amaral, seeing an angry man locked up in his own bitter and baseless theories
. -Neil Tweedie, Daily Mail, of the McCanns' tormentor Gonzo.
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Re: TIMES LIBEL - McCanns win £55,000 damages for 'disgraceful' behaviour by newspaper

Post  lily on Thu Oct 02, 2014 8:45 pm

Good article from him.
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Re: TIMES LIBEL - McCanns win £55,000 damages for 'disgraceful' behaviour by newspaper

Post  Sabot on Thu Oct 02, 2014 8:56 pm

Okay. Had enough for today. Going to bed now..
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Re: TIMES LIBEL - McCanns win £55,000 damages for 'disgraceful' behaviour by newspaper

Post  Pedro Silva on Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:06 pm

well done Mr. McCann.
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Re: TIMES LIBEL - McCanns win £55,000 damages for 'disgraceful' behaviour by newspaper

Post  bb1 on Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:01 am

Dumbo hater:

Gone are days when mccann whined, and got 'in agreement' £550K asap.

Haters are too thick to remember that those damages were for a series of lies and smears, not a one-off. Curiously, the lies and smears the Troofseekers desperately cling to to give them hope. yernuts


Last edited by bb1 on Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:43 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Few will weep tears for Amaral, seeing an angry man locked up in his own bitter and baseless theories
. -Neil Tweedie, Daily Mail, of the McCanns' tormentor Gonzo.
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Re: TIMES LIBEL - McCanns win £55,000 damages for 'disgraceful' behaviour by newspaper

Post  bb1 on Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:42 pm

And on the subject of libel....


martinbrunt @skymartinbrunt · 2h 2 hours ago
#Madeleine Final legal arguments in the McCann £1m libel trial over ex-cop's book in Lisbon next week. Verdict expected in February.


That should get the haters going. No, not news about Gonzo's trial, but the fact that contrary to their ridiculous predictions, Mr Brunt hasn't joined a monastery to spend the rest of his life in sackcloth and ashes.

Oh, and is commenting on the McCann case.

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Re: TIMES LIBEL - McCanns win £55,000 damages for 'disgraceful' behaviour by newspaper

Post  lily on Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:25 pm

They should also be looking on the bright side as they are always stating that Gonc will win that one. Pcorneater
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Re: TIMES LIBEL - McCanns win £55,000 damages for 'disgraceful' behaviour by newspaper

Post  bb1 on Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:29 pm

They've decided Something is Up:

It's too much of a coincidence that the libel trial resumes next week, at the same time that SY is out there. What IS going on?


Nothing that is any business of the haters and hounders, for starters.....

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Re: TIMES LIBEL - McCanns win £55,000 damages for 'disgraceful' behaviour by newspaper

Post  lily on Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:35 pm

Cue one more conspiracy theory of theirs.   Pcorneater
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Re: TIMES LIBEL - McCanns win £55,000 damages for 'disgraceful' behaviour by newspaper

Post  bb1 on Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:16 pm

They're all at it full blast now. Usual rubbish, nothing of any importance. Pcorneater

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Few will weep tears for Amaral, seeing an angry man locked up in his own bitter and baseless theories
. -Neil Tweedie, Daily Mail, of the McCanns' tormentor Gonzo.
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