Williams v MGN Ltd: QBD 2 Dec 2009

The claimant, who had been convicted of murder, complained that an article defamed him by calling him a ‘grass’ or police informer. The defendant asked that the claimant’s defamation action be struck out as an abuse.
Held: While the suggestion would clearly have made the claimant’s life in prison very much more difficult, but it was not defamatory to say that someone gave information to the police about criminal activity. The claim was an abuse.
Eady J
[2009] EWHC 3150 (QB)
England and Wales
CitedMawe v Pigott 1869
A claim for libel was brought by an Irish priest, who was said to be an informer against disloyal and criminal classes.
Held: The action was dismissed. The argument on behalf of the priest was noted to be that amongst certain classes who were . .
CitedLonzim Plc and Others v Sprague QBD 11-Nov-2009
The court asked whether any damages recovered by the claimant might be so small as to be totally disproportionate to the very high costs that any libel action involves.
Held: Tugendhat J said: ‘It is not enough for a claimant to say that a . .
CitedDow Jones and Co Inc v Jameel CA 3-Feb-2005
Presumption of Damage in Defamation is rebuttable
The defendant complained that the presumption in English law that the victim of a libel had suffered damage was incompatible with his right to a fair trial. They said the statements complained of were repetitions of statements made by US . .
FollowedByrne v Deane CA 1937
A notice had been displayed on a golf club notice board. The court considered whether this constituted publication for defamation purposes.
Held: Greene LJ said: ‘Now on the substantial question of publication, publication, of course, is a . .

Cited by:
CitedKaschke v Gray and Another QBD 23-Jul-2010
The claimant sought damages in defamation saying that the defendants had published a web page which falsely associated her with a terrorist gang in the 1970s. The defendants now sought a strike out of her claim as an abuse saying that a similar . .
CitedRufus v Elliott QBD 1-Nov-2013
The parties were former footballers involved in charitable works. The claimant said that an allegation by the defendant that he the claimant had released for publication a text message in which the the defendant was said to have used extremely . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 31 December 2020; Ref: scu.381772