Waters v Sunday Pictorial Newspapers Ltd: CA 1961

The defendants published an article describing the plaintiff estate agent as ‘a notorious dodgy operator of London slum properties’. The article quoted statements by Lord Goddard CJ 8 years before describing the plaintiff’s estate agency as ‘a fraudulent business from beginning to end’. The defendants put forward a plea of justification stating that in the course of proceedings in the Court of Criminal Appeal where the plaintiff’s conviction had been quashed Lord Goddard CJ had made the observation above quoted, and also relying on judicial statements to a similar effect in two previous civil cases in which the plaintiff had been involved. The plaintiff sought a strike out of the defence.
Held: The request was refused. Willmer LJ cited Cadam’s case and said that it was impossible to say that the particulars of justification could be no answer to any conceivable meaning which the jury might find, and that it was therefore not possible to strike out the particulars which set out the effect of what was said in the various previous judicial proceedings. Danckwerts LJ agreed.


Willmer LJ, Danckwerts LJ


[1961] 1 WLR 967, [1961] 2 All ER 758


England and Wales


CitedCadam v Beaverbrook Newspapers Ltd CA 1959
The defendants had published an article stating simply and solely that a writ had been issued against the four plaintiffs claiming damages for alleged conspiracy to defraud. They pleaded justification, based on the issue of the writ itself. The . .

Cited by:

CitedStern v Piper and Others CA 21-May-1996
The defendant newspaper said that allegations had been made against the plaintiff that he was not paying his debts. In their defence they pleaded justification and the fact that he was being sued for debt.
Held: A defamation was not to be . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 05 May 2022; Ref: scu.270556