A Court of Appeal judge has today received a libel apology and damages from a daily newspaper.
Lord Justice Sedley, represented by London firm Bindmans, has accepted an apology and damages, which will be paid to charities, from the Daily Telegraph in respect of a defamatory article published in November 2010 that carried the headline ‘Judge "hastened deaths" of elderly’.
The High Court heard that the paper had repeated allegations about Sedley derived from a complaint made to the Office for Judicial Complaints (OJC), by a solicitor-advocate who had appeared on two occasions in 2009 before a court presided over by Sedley, which was subsequently dismissed.
The paper accepted that there was no truth whatsoever in the allegations and apologised, paying a sum in damages and Sedley’s legal costs.
In a statement to the court, Sedley’s counsel said: ‘Recognising the lack of merit in the complaint, the OJC in January dismissed it (the complaint) in its entirety.’
‘Ordinarily this would have been the end of the matter. However, the Daily Telegraph's article repeated, and so placed in the public domain, a series of allegations derived from the complaint, which were so professionally damaging that it became necessary to commence proceedings so as to make the truth known by way of an agreed statement in open court.’
‘To that end the Daily Telegraph is here today to make it clear that the allegations to which it gave currency were wholly without foundation.’
Counsel for the paper confirmed what had been said on Sedley’s behalf and apologised to him on behalf of the defendants.