Mersey Care NHS Trust v Ackroyd: CA 21 Feb 2007

The defendant journalist had published confidential material obtained from the claimant’s secure hospital at Ashworth. The hospital now appealed against the refusal of an order for him to to disclose his source.
Held: The appeal failed. Given that over 200 people may have been the source, the claimant’s argument based on the burden on fellow employees of suspicion failed. In essence whether an order for disclosure was to be made was a matter of discretion for the judge at first instance, and the appeal court’s role would be limited. The judge had taken into account all the relevant factors, and was particularly free to conclude that things had moved on in the considerable delay since the original disclosure. This did not suggest any reduction in the respect to be given to the confidentiality of health records.
Sir Anthony Clarke MR, Lord Neiberger of Abbotsbury, Leveson LJ
[2007] EWCA Civ 101, 94 BMLR 84, [2008] EMLR 1, [2007] HRLR 19
Contempt of Court Act 1981 10
England and Wales
See AlsoAshworth Security Hospital v MGN Limited HL 27-Jun-2002
Order for Journalist to Disclose Sources
The newspaper published details of the medical records of Ian Brady, a prisoner and patient of the applicant. The applicant sought an order requiring the defendant newspaper to disclose the identity of the source of material which appeared to have . .
Times 01-Jul-02, Gazette 01-Aug-02, [2002] UKHL 29, [2002] 1 WLR 2033, 12 BHRC 443, [2003] FSR 17, [2002] CPLR 712, [2002] UKHRR 1263, [2002] EMLR 36, (2002) 67 BMLR 175, [2002] HRLR 41, [2002] 4 All ER 193
See AlsoAshworth Security Hospital v MGN Ltd CA 18-Dec-2000
The court can order the identity of a wrongdoer to be revealed where the person against whom the order was sought had become involved in his tortious acts. This might apply even where the acts were unlawful, but fell short of being tortious. There . .
Times 10-Jan-01, Gazette 08-Feb-01, [2000] EWCA Civ 334, [2001] 1 WLR 515, [2001] 1 All ER 991
See AlsoAckroyd v Mersey Care NHS Trust 18-Oct-2002
The medical records of a patient at the hospital had been provided by an employee to a journalist who then provided a story to the Mirror. An order had been made for the Mirror to disclose the source. An application was now made against the . .
[2002] EWHC 2115 (QB)
CitedAckroyd v Mersey Care NHS Trust CA 16-May-2003
The journalist was required to provide the source of his material. In an earlier hearing the newspaper had been ordered to disclose the name of its source, the journalist. The claimant obtained summary judgement, which the journalist now appealed. . .
[2003] EWCA Civ 663, Times 21-May-03, Gazette 17-Jul-03, [2003] EMLR 36
Appeal fromMersey Care NHS Trust v Ackroyd QBD 7-Feb-2006
The trust, operators of Ashworth Secure Hospital sought from the defendant journalist disclosure of the name of their employee who had revealed to the defendant matters about the holding of Ian Brady, the Moors Murderer, and in particular medical . .
[2006] EWHC 107 (QB), Times 09-Feb-06
CitedNorwich Pharmacal Co and others v Customs and Excise Commissioners HL 26-Jun-1973
The plaintiffs sought discovery from the defendants of documents received by them innocently in the exercise of their statutory functions. They sought to identify people who had been importing drugs unlawfully manufactured in breach of their . .
[1974] AC 133, [1973] 3 WLR 164, [1973] 2 All ER 943, [1973] UKHL 6, [1974] RPC 101, [1973] FSR 365
CitedHandyside v The United Kingdom ECHR 7-Dec-1976
The appellant had published a ‘Little Red Schoolbook’. He was convicted under the 1959 and 1964 Acts on the basis that the book was obscene, it tending to deprave and corrupt its target audience, children. The book claimed that it was intended to . .
5493/72, (1976) 1 EHRR 737, [1976] ECHR 5
CitedX v Y 1987
Complaint was made that defendant newspapers were to publish confidential medical records of doctors suffering Aids. An injunction was sought to prevent use of records given to a journalist by a hospital employee. The records related to doctors in . .
[1988] 2 All ER 648, (1987) 13 IPR 202
CitedIn re S (a Child) (Identification: Restrictions on Publication) HL 28-Oct-2004
The claimant child’s mother was to be tried for the murder of his brother by poisoning with salt. It was feared that the publicity which would normally attend a trial, would be damaging to S, and an application was made for reporting restrictions to . .
[2004] UKHL 47, Times 29-Oct-04, [2005] 1 FLR 591, [2005] 1 AC 593, 17 BHRC 646, [2004] 4 All ER 683, [2005] Crim LR 310, [2004] 3 FCR 407, [2005] HRLR 5, [2004] 3 WLR 1129, [2005] EMLR 11, [2005] UKHRR 129, [2005] EMLR 2
CitedRegina v Shayler HL 21-Mar-2002
The defendant had been a member of the security services. On becoming employed, and upon leaving, he had agreed to keep secret those matters disclosed to him. He had broken those agreements and was being prosecuted. He sought a decision that the . .
Times 22-Mar-02, Gazette 25-Apr-02, [2002] UKHL 11, [2003] 1 AC 247, [2002] 2 WLR 754, [2002] ACD 58, [2002] HRLR 33, [2002] 2 All ER 477, [2002] UKHRR 603
CitedZ v Finland ECHR 25-Feb-1997
A defendant had appealed against his conviction for manslaughter and related offences by deliberately subjecting women to the risk of being infected by him with HIV virus. The applicant, Z, had been married to the defendant, and infected by him with . .
22009/93, (1997) 25 EHRR 371, [1997] ECHR 10
CitedGoodwin v The United Kingdom ECHR 27-Mar-1996
An order for a journalist to reveal his source was a breach of his right of free expression: ‘The court recalls that freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society and that the safeguards to be afforded to . .
Times 28-Mar-96, 17488/90, (1996) 22 EHRR 123, [1996] ECHR 16
CitedX Ltd v Morgan-Grampian (Publishers) Ltd HL 1990
In a case where a contemnor not only fails wilfully and contumaciously to comply with an order of the court but makes it clear that he will continue to defy the court’s authority if the order should be affirmed on appeal, the court must have a . .
[1991] 1 AC 1, [1990] 2 All ER 1, [1990] 2 WLR 1000
CitedFressoz and Roire v France ECHR 21-Jan-1999
Le Canard Enchaine published the salary of M Calvet, the chairman of Peugeot, (which was publicly available information) and also, by way of confirmation, photographs of the relevant part of his tax assessment, which was confidential and could not . .
29183/95, [1999] ECHR 1, (1999) 31 EHRR 28, [1997] ECHR 194
CitedGeorge Galloway MP v The Telegraph Group Ltd CA 25-Jan-2006
The defendant appealed agaiunst a finding that it had defamed the claimant by repeating the contents of papers found after the invasion of Iraq which made claims against the claimant. The paper had not sought to justify the claims, relying on . .
[2006] EWCA Civ 17, Times 06-Feb-06, [2006] EMLR 11
CitedDouglas and others v Hello! Ltd and others (No 3) CA 18-May-2005
The principal claimants sold the rights to take photographs of their wedding to a co-claimant magazine (OK). Persons acting on behalf of the defendants took unauthorised photographs which the defendants published. The claimants had retained joint . .
[2005] EWCA Civ 595, Times 24-May-05, [2005] 4 All ER 128, [2005] 3 WLR 881, [2006] QB 125
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for The Home Department Ex Parte Simms HL 8-Jul-1999
Ban on Prisoners talking to Journalists unlawful
The two prisoners, serving life sentences for murder, had had their appeals rejected. They continued to protest innocence, and sought to bring their campaigns to public attention through the press, having oral interviews with journalists without . .
Times 09-Jul-99, Gazette 28-Jul-99, [1999] UKHL 33, [2000] 2 AC 115, [1999] 3 All ER 400, [1999] 3 WLR 328, [1999] EMLR 689, (1999) 7 BHRC 411, (1999) 2 CHRLD 359
CitedFinancial Times Ltd and others v Interbrew SA CA 8-Mar-2002
The appellants appealed against orders for delivery up of papers belonging to the claimant. The paper was a market sensitive report which had been stolen and doctored before being handed to the appellant.
Held: The Ashworth Hospital case . .
Times 21-Mar-02, Gazette 18-Apr-02, [2002] EWCA Civ 274, [2002] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 229, [2002] EMLR 446
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 . .
Times 29-Oct-99, Gazette 25-Nov-99, Gazette 17-Nov-99, [2001] 2 AC 127, [1999] UKHL 45, [1999] 4 All ER 609, [1999] 3 WLR 1010, [2000] EMLR 1, [2000] HRLR 134, 7 BHRC 289
CitedMcCartan Turkington Breen (A Firm) v Times Newspapers Limited HL 2-Nov-2000
(Northern Ireland) The defendant reported a press conference at which the claims denying the criminal responsibility of an army private were made. The report was severely critical of the claimants, who then sued in defamation. The defendants claimed . .
Times 03-Nov-00, [2000] UKHL 57, [2001] 2 AC 277, [2000] 4 All ER 913, [2000] 9 BHRC 497, [2000] 3 WLR 1670, [2000] NI 410, [2001] UKHRR 184, [2001] EMLR 1
CitedHandyside v The United Kingdom ECHR 7-Dec-1976
The appellant had published a ‘Little Red Schoolbook’. He was convicted under the 1959 and 1964 Acts on the basis that the book was obscene, it tending to deprave and corrupt its target audience, children. The book claimed that it was intended to . .
5493/72, (1976) 1 EHRR 737, [1976] ECHR 5

Cited by:
CitedIndependent Police Complaints Commission v Warner and Others QBD 17-Feb-2012
The applicant had mistakenly disclosed confidential personal information in answer to a data request. It sought an injunction restricting its redistribution after the recipient refused to return it and threatened to pass it on. The defendant said . .
[2012] EWHC 271 (QB)

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 16 December 2020; Ref: scu.248930