Bento v The Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police: QBD 1 Jun 2012

The claimant had been convicted of the murder of his girlfriend. On his acquittal on appeal, the police criticised the CPS decision not to retry the claimant, in effect, the claimant now said, continuing the accusation against him, and so defaming him. The defendant pleaded justification.
Held: The prosecution case rested in substantial part on now discredited evidence that the deceased was carrying a bag when last seen, which bag had later been found with the claimant, and ‘while it is possible that Mr Bento killed Kamila, the balance of probabilities is that he did not and that she committed suicide. The defence of justification therefore fails.’
As to qualified privilege, no case had been found where this had been sought for a statement by one public body as to the actions of anoher. The defence of qualified privilege failed.
Judgment was given for the claimant in the sum of andpound;125,000.

Bean J
[2012] EWHC 1525 (QB)
England and Wales
Not followedHalford v Brookes CA 1991
The plaintiff, the mother and administratrix of the estate of a 16 year old girl, alleged that her daughter had been murdered by one or both of the Defendants. The claim was for damages for battery. Rougier J at first instance had decided that: . .
CitedIn re H and R (Minors) (Child Sexual Abuse: Standard of Proof) HL 14-Dec-1995
Evidence allowed – Care Application after Abuse
Children had made allegations of serious sexual abuse against their step-father. He was acquitted at trial, but the local authority went ahead with care proceedings. The parents appealed against a finding that a likely risk to the children had still . .
CitedAN, Regina (on the Application of) v Mental Health Review Tribunal (Northern Region) and others CA 21-Dec-2005
The appellant was detained under section 37 of the 1983 Act as a mental patient with a restriction under section 41. He sought his release.
Held: The standard of proof in such applications remained the balance of probabilities, but that . .
CitedIn re D; Doherty, Re (Northern Ireland); Life Sentence Review Commissioners v D HL 11-Jun-2008
The Sentence Review Commissioners had decided not to order the release of the prisoner, who was serving a life sentence. He had been released on licence from a life sentence and then committed further serious sexual offences against under-age girls . .
ApprovedAlexander v Arts Council of Wales QBD 20-Jul-2000
A representative of the Arts Council of Wales was held to have been protected by qualified privilege in making statements at a press conference held to explain the Council’s refusal of a particular application for arts funding, and after the . .
CitedReynolds v Times Newspapers Ltd and others HL 28-Oct-1999
Fair Coment on Political Activities
The defendant newspaper had published articles wrongly accusing the claimant, the former Prime Minister of Ireland of duplicity. The paper now appealed, saying that it should have had available to it a defence of qualified privilege because of the . .
DoubtedBhatt v Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust QBD 16-Oct-1997
The defendant trust’s press officer had issued information to the press which was defamatory of the claimant in response to inquiries from the press indicating that articles based on the claimant’s criticisms of the trust were about to be published. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.459899