Lillie and Reed v Newcastle City Council, Barker, Jones, Saradjian, Wardell: QBD 30 Jul 2002

The applicants sought judicial review of a report prepared for the respondent. They had been accused of child abuse whilst working as nursery assistants.
Held: The report was fundamentally flawed, and almost deliberately designed to manufacture allegations and lay blame at the feet of the claimants. It was disgraceful: ‘Consciously, after a detailed consideration of the material assembled before them, set out to misrepresent the state of the evidence available to support their joint belief that Mr Lillie and Miss Reed and other local residents were child abusers (and indeed abusers on a massive scale) and to give readers the impression that statements by parents and/or children had been corroborated by police inquiries.’
There was no substantial evidence of any abuse having taken place, and there was thorough going bad practice by the respondent and by those conducting the investigation. The damage to the claimants had been substantial and quite unjustified.
Eady J said: ‘I decided, therefore, that each Claimant was entitled to what is now generally recognised to be the maximum amount for compensatory damages in libel proceedings. I award each of them andpound;200,000. What matters primarily is that they are entitled to be vindicated and recognised as innocent citizens who should, in my judgment, be free to exist for what remains of their lives untouched by the stigma of child abuse.’


The Honourable Mr Justice Eady


[2002] EWHC 1600 (QB)



Cited by:

CitedKing v Telegraph Group Ltd CA 18-May-2004
The defendant appealed against interim costs orders made in the claim against it for defamation.
Held: The general power of cost capping measures available to courts were available also in defamation proceedings. The claimant was being . .
CitedGeorge Galloway MP v Telegraph Group Ltd QBD 2-Dec-2004
The claimant MP alleged defamation in articles by the defendant newspaper. They claimed to have found papers in Iraqi government offices after the invasion of Iraq which implicated the claimant. The claimant said the allegations were grossly . .
CitedSeray-Wurie v The Charity Commission of England and Wales QBD 23-Apr-2008
The defendant sought an order to strike out the claimant’s allegations of defamation and other torts. The defendants claimed qualified privilege in that the statements complained of were contained in a report prepared by it in fulfilment of its . .
CitedCairns v Modi CA 31-Oct-2012
Three appeals against the levels of damages awards were heard together, and the court considered the principles to be applied.
Held: In assessing compensation following a libel, the essential question was how much loss and damage did the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Administrative, Defamation, Children

Updated: 06 June 2022; Ref: scu.174434