Hayden v Associated Newspapers Ltd: QBD 11 Mar 2020

The claimant alleged defamation by the defendant, and the court now considered the meanings of the words complained of. Another person had been held by police for seven hours after identifying the claimant as a transgendered man.
Held: The judge rejected a request for his recusal. The judge’s recent involvement in a case involving transgender issues and his remarks could not support a recusal: ‘save in special circumstances previous judicial pronouncements will not provide a proper basis for recusal’.
‘ . . applying the Koutsogiannis principles, the hypothetical reasonable reader would understand the natural and ordinary meaning of the words complained of, when read in the context of the Article as a whole, to be that the Claimant’s complaint to the police, and the reason for Mrs Scottow’s arrest, went far beyond merely that Mrs Scottow had called the Claimant a man. They would understand that it extended to the other – and really quite serious – aspects of her complaint about what Mrs Scottow had said about her which the Article set out in [13] and [14]. In short, this is a classic ‘bane and antidote’ case: see Koutsogiannis, supra, [12(viii)]. Read by themselves, the words complained of (the bane) suggest the only reason Mrs Scottow was arrested was for calling the Claimant a man. But when they are read in the context of the Article as a whole (the antidote), a different meaning emerges.’
The words were not defamatory of the claimant. In substance they were addressed rather to a suggested overblown response by the police which in turn was a response to a proper and serious complaint by the defendant.


Mr Justice Julian Knowles


[2020] EWHC 540 (QB)




England and Wales


CitedLocabail (UK) Ltd, Regina v Bayfield Properties Ltd CA 17-Nov-1999
Adverse Comments by Judge Need not be Show of Bias
In five cases, leave to appeal was sought on the basis that a party had been refused disqualification of judges on grounds of bias. The court considered the circumstances under which a fear of bias in a court may prove to be well founded: ‘The mere . .
CitedPorter and Weeks v Magill HL 13-Dec-2001
Councillors Liable for Unlawful Purposes Use
The defendant local councillors were accused of having sold rather than let council houses in order to encourage an electorate which would be more likely to be supportive of their political party. They had been advised that the policy would be . .
CitedOtkritie International Investment Management and Others v Urumov CA 14-Oct-2014
The claimants brought proceedings against several defendants. There had been a series of hearings conducted by a single judge leading to findings that several defendants had been involved in a fraud. The defendants sought recusal of that judge . .
CitedBates and Others v Post Office Ltd (No 4) QBD 9-Apr-2019
Defendant’s application for recusal of judge. . .
CitedMiller, Regina (on The Application of) v The College of Policing and Another Admn 14-Feb-2020
The claimant challenged the respondent’s operational guidance on non-criminal hate speech. A third party had complained of his comments in tweets regarding transgender issues. . .
CitedChase v Newsgroup Newspapers Ltd CA 3-Dec-2002
The defendant appealed against a striking out of part of its defence to the claim of defamation, pleading justification.
Held: The Human Rights Convention had not itself changed the conditions for a plea of justification based upon reasonable . .
CitedBrown v Bower and Another QBD 31-Oct-2017
Judgment on issues of meaning and whether defamatory.
As to the Chase levels of meaning: ‘They come from the decision of Brooke LJ in Chase v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2003] EMLR 11 [45] in which he identified three types of defamatory . .
CitedKoutsogiannis v The Random House Group Ltd QBD 18-Jan-2019
Settling Meaning in Defamation Cases
Nicklin J set out the approach to meaning in defamation actions: The Court’s task is to determine the single natural and ordinary meaning of the words complained of, which is the meaning that the hypothetical reasonable reader would understand the . .
CitedKirkegaard v Smith QBD 11-Dec-2019
Meaning . .
CitedWaterson v Lloyd MP and Another CA 28-Feb-2013
The former MP for Eastbourne had brought an action for defamation against the appellant, the current MP and his agent in respect of election materials used by them. The appellants had relied on the defence of fair comment, and now appealed against . .
CitedGreenstein v Campaign Against Antisemitism QBD 15-Feb-2019
Judgment after a trial of preliminary issues of meaning and whether of fact or opinion.
Nicklin J said: ‘Although the Claimant has selected only parts of the Articles for complaint, the Court must ascertain the meaning of these sections in the . .
CitedSkuse v Granada Television CA 30-Mar-1993
The claimant complained that the defendant had said in a television programme that he had failed to act properly when presenting his expert forensic evidence in court in the trial of the Birmingham Six.
Held: The court should give to the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 31 October 2022; Ref: scu.648930