Showing posts with label defamation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label defamation. Show all posts

Thursday 25 May 2023

Animal advocate Chris Packham has successfully sued Country Squire Magazine for defamation

Animal advocate Chris Packham has successfully sued Country Squire Magazine for defamation and was awarded £90,000 compensation plus more than £500,000 in an interim costs payment.

Update: Here he is:

Chris Packham
Chris Packham. Photo Garry Knight from London, England - People's Walk for Wildlife 2018 - 04

Chris Packham is a well-known British animal advocate. He is high-profile. He fights for animal welfare. He claimed that he was libelled by a hunting publisher and he managed to crowd fund enough money to sue that publisher for defamation. He alleged that the publisher instigated a campaign of online abuse against him. He alleged that Fieldsports Channel created articles that he faked a death threat to himself.

He also sued the Country Squire Magazine. There appears to be a connection between Country Squire Magazine and the Fieldsports Channel. I can't find the connection on the Internet but it must exist. Are they one and the same legal entity? Update a few days later: I think it is because Mr Bean writes for this channel and he is a supporter of sport hunting. This in fact is why he hates Chris Packham so much. This is about Packham being against sport hunting and Bean and his co-defendant being pro-sport hunting.

As mentioned, he successfully sued Country Squire Magazine for defamation and the judge awarded him £90,000 in compensation plus more than £500,000 in costs. This was an interim costs order and therefore the overall award for legal costs is going to be higher than that.

As is not unusual, the judge's award for costs far exceeds the award for damages (compensation).

The compensation for libel damages (libel is a written form of deformation whereas slander is a verbal form of deformation) includes compensation for:

  • Accusations that he lied in order to persuade people to donate money to a wildlife sanctuary
  • Pursuing an agenda or campaign against Mr Packham and those who share his views which "focused on alleging fraud and dishonesty without any proper evidential basis".
  • Accusations that he defrauded and manipulated people an attempt to raise funds for the Wildheart Trust which is a wildlife sanctuary on the Isle of Wight.
  • Accusations that he lied when he said that gamekeepers on two Scottish estates were burning peat during the 2021 UM cup 26 a conference in Glasgow.
  • Accusations that he acted fraudulently (was a fraud) and a "notorious liar" and as having an "obvious nastiness" and accusing him of playing the "Asperger's victim card".

Packham was successful in suing two defendants, Dominic Wightman and asset manager who is the editor of Country Squire Magazine and the writer Nigel Bean.

During litigation the defendants - the men named above - had indicated that they intended to put on the record in the litigation that Packham was a "rapist, a bully, and a pervert" despite there not being a shred of evidence to support this in order to try and scare Packham off from litigation. 

The judge said that this misbehaviour from the defendants is reflected in the damages awarded against them and that they will pay a higher proportion of Packham's costs than usual which are called indemnity costs.

The Country Squire Magazine has issued an apology on their website subsequent to this court judgement. They might struggle to pay these heavy costs combined with the damages. I don't know the resources of this magazine but if they going to have to pay more than £600,000 it's going to be painful at least and I wonder whether it might close the magazine.

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