July 21, 2017
Journalists seeking comment held not harassment
Contacts with story subject did not pass seriousness threshold
HHJ Moloney QC sitting as a High Court judge today held that approaches by the media to the subject of a story in order to seek comment was not capable of being harassment in a decision striking out that part of harassment proceedings.
The harassment claim brought by Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring against Associated Newspapers was in respect of both a series of articles and repeated contacts made by journalists in order to seek comment. In a decision of particular significance to journalists, HHJ Moloney said:
“there is nothing surprising, oppressive, unacceptable or exceptional about the journalists’ behaviour here. It was well within the limits of normal rough-and-tumble which people must expect in a free society . . .”
5RB‘s Christina Michalos appeared as junior Counsel for the Defendant led by Andrew Caldecott QC.
The proceedings are on going; the Court declined to grant summary judgment in respect of the remainder of the harassment claim.