Garbett v Hazel Watson and Viney: CA 1943

The defendants had published in a magazine a picture of the plaintiff carrying on his business as an out door photographer, and talking to a lady. On the opposite page they published a picture of a naked woman. The caption running under both pictures was that ‘For another shilling Madam you can have something like this’. The defendant appealed, arguing against the meaning attributed to the publication by the plaintiff and found by the Judge. The plaintiff gave evidence that after the publication complained of he was shunned by those who knew him, and that instead of calling him by his Christian name (Sydney), as they had before, they called him ‘Smutty’. Counsel for the defendant argued in the Court of Appeal that the evidence that the plaintiff was addressed as ‘Smutty’ was inadmissible, that is inadmissible as to meaning.
Held: The defendant’s argument was rejected. Scott LJ saying: ‘It was admissible because it was evidence of the measure of damage done’. The juxtaposition raised an innuendo which lowered the plaintiff’s reputation and was therefore libellous.


Scott LJ


[1943] 2 All ER 359

Cited by:

CitedLewis v Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis and Others (Rev 1) QBD 31-Mar-2011
The defendant sought a ruling on the meaning of the words but using section 69(4) of the 1981 Act. The claimant solicitor was acting in complaints as to the unlawful interception of celebrity voicemails by agents of the press. There had been debate . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 11 May 2022; Ref: scu.431722