The first appellant, Mr L, had – along with the first respondent B – been a director of the second respondent, the football club LUFC. Mr L and B had fallen out, resulting in years of litigation. B had published (by articles in the LUFC match-day programmes, and by broadcasting via the third respondent radio station, YR) his version of his feud with Mr L. By trial, ten publications were cited, and given letters (a) to (j) accordingly. Mr L had earlier successfully sued B for libel in respect of three of these publications.
Two of the publications by B had insinuated that fans of LUFC should contact Mr L at his home: publication (d) had included Mr L’s home address, and publication (e) had noted that Mr L’s home telephone number was in the phone book. The relevant sentence of publication (e) had been blacked out, but it was disputed whether this prevented all publishees from reading it.
Mr L and his wife Mrs L, sued B for harassment contrary to the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. After trial before HHJ Gosnell in the Leeds County Court, Mr L succeeded and was awarded £10,000 damages, but Mrs L did not succeed, on the basis that only one publication (publication (i)) was targeted against her: all the publications were targeted by B at Mr L. Critically, HHJ Gosnell found that because (d) and (e) were not targeted against Mrs L, they could not constitute one of the two acts required to give rise to a course of conduct capable of being harassment against her.
Mr and Mrs L appealed on the issue of liability, and on costs.