The claimant policeman alleged defamation in an article published by the defendant newspaper. The defendant advanced two substantive defences, a defence of public interest (Reynolds) privilege and justification. After protracted litigation, the claim succeeded, and the court now considered the damages to be awarded.
Held: ‘It is possible to pursue journalism said to be in the public interest and demonstrate consideration for the subject whose reputation may suffer in the event of publication. The need for such consideration is particularly acute given the subject’s lack of redress. Once it is known that there is material which exonerates, in whole or in part the subject of the journalistic investigation, consideration should be shown for the position of the subject by publishing exculpatory material. On the facts of this case no such consideration was demonstrated by TNL’ and: ‘The award of damages, for the period 5 September 2007 to 21 October 2009, to reflect the distress, anxiety and suffering of the claimant, the damage to his reputation and the need for proper vindication is 45,000 pounds. To that figure I have awarded a further andpound;15,000 to represent the aggravation of those damages by reason of the conduct of the defendant and to serve as a deterrent to those who embark upon public interest journalism but thereafter refuse to publish material which in whole, or in part, exculpates the subject of the investigation. Accordingly, the claimant’s award of damages is andpound;60,000.’
Nicola Davies DBE J
 EWHC 4075 (QB)
England and Wales
At Supreme Court – Flood v Times Newspapers Ltd SC 21-Mar-2012
The defendant had published an article which was defamatory of the claimant police officer, saying that he was under investigation for alleged corruption. The inquiry later cleared him. The court was now asked whether the paper had Reynolds type . .
See Also – Flood v Times Newspapers Ltd QBD 25-Jul-2013
Appeal from – Times Newspapers Ltd v Flood CA 4-Dec-2014
The newspaper appealed from the award of costs to the claimant who had succeeded in his claim of defamation. . .
At First Instance – Times Newspapers Ltd and Others v Flood and Others SC 11-Apr-2017
Three newspaper publishers, having lost defamation cases, challenged the levels of costs awarded against them, saying that the levels infringed their own rights of free speech.
Held: Each of the three appeals was dismissed. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 28 November 2021; Ref: scu.519770