18th May 2023

News Group Newspapers apologises and pays substantial damages to law enforcement officer for libel

By Christopher Hutchings

In a Statement in Open Court read at the Royal Courts of Justice before His Honour Judge Lewis today (18 May 2023), News Group Newspapers (“NGN”) has apologised to our client, Paul Seeley, for the publication of a highly defamatory article in The Sun newspaper and on thesun.co.uk, in which Mr Seeley was the subject of false allegations.

The articles by The Sun, which NGN say were based on agency reporting, reported Mr Seeley’s attendance at a criminal trial as a witness to proceedings and reported a defamatory allegation put to Mr Seeley in his cross examination that he was guilty of fraud. Whilst the articles reported that Mr Seeley had denied the allegation during cross-examination, the articles failed to report the extensive evidence provided during the criminal trial that discredited the allegation, thereby (as NGN now accepts) making The Sun’s articles an unfair and inaccurate report of court proceedings.

The allegation was, and is, completely false. NGN has now accepted this and agreed to a full and public apology by way of a Statement in Open Court. NGN has also agreed to pay damages, provided an undertaking not to repeat the same or any similar allegation of our client in future, to withdraw any permission to repeat the articles and to pay Mr Seeley’s reasonable legal costs.

Christopher Hutchings, Partner, Media Disputes at Hamlins, said:

“The Claimant was unfairly and falsely accused of a serious wrongdoing which, given his profession, could be highly damaging. Mr Seeley has been vindicated at today’s court hearing and is pleased that the Defendant has apologised for its story, bringing this matter to a satisfactory outcome.”

Adrienne Page KC and Kate Wilson of 5RB were instructed by Christopher Hutchings, Daniel Shaw and Anna Seal of Hamlins LLP for Mr Seeley.

Hamlins’ Media Disputes team offers expertise in reputation management and can assist clients where a publication contains defamatory allegations.

News Group Newspapers apologises and pays substantial damages to law enforcement officer for libel

Have a question? Contact Christopher

Have a question? Contact Christopher


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