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April 11, 2018

Permission to Appeal granted in “Can’t Pay? We’ll Take it Away!” case

Category: Privacy

Tags: appeal, misuse of private information, permission to appeal, privacy, quantum

Arnold J grants the Claimants permission to appeal on quantum


Mr Justice Arnold has granted the Claimants in the Can’t Pay? We’ll Take it Away! misuse of private information case permission to appeal on quantum. He did so on the basis that there were points of principle arising on quantum that were fit for consideration by the Court of Appeal.

The Claimants, Mr Ali and Mrs Aslam, were awarded £10,000 each in damages at trial for misuse of private information in the broadcast of the programme by Channel 5, which showed them being evicted from their home.

The grounds on which permission was granted were:

  • Whether the awards were within the reasonable scope of the awards a court could properly make given the scale and nature of the publication and the distress caused to the Claimants by it (the programme was viewed 9.65 million times).
  • Whether the damages awards ought to be reduced on account of the existence of other publications not complained of (social media posts by the Claimants’ landlords depicting parts of the eviction).
  • Whether the damages awards ought to take account of distress caused to the Claimants by the adverse consequences of publication on their children.

5RB’s William Bennett and Felicity McMahon, instructed by Hamlins, act for the Claimants. Tom Blackburn , instructed by Lee & Thompson, for the Defendant.