Full case report

Paddick v Associated Newspapers Ltd

Reference 10/09/2003
Court Queen's Bench Division

Judge Gray J

Date of Judgment 10 Sep 2003


Summary

Privacy – Breach of Confidence – Human Rights – Part 18 Further Information – Disclosure of amount paid to source by newspaper – Damages – Public Interest Defence


Facts

Brian Paddick, the former Commander of Lambeth Police brought proceedings against the Mail on Sunday. The newspaper had published a kiss ‘n’ tell story from Paddick’s former lover, James Renolleau in March 2002. Renolleau alleged that he and Paddick had smoked cannabis together. Paddick claimed that the details published about his relationship and other personal details were an invasion of his privacy and/or a breach of confidence. The newspaper defended the article as being in the public interest. The Claimant had sought Part 18 Further Information as to the amount the newspaper had paid its sources. The newspaper refused to provide the information contending that it was irrelevant.


Issue

Whether the Claimant was entitled to know how much the Mail on Sunday had paid the sources of the articles.


Held

The Defendant had to provide the information sought. The payments made were relevant to a number of issues to be decided in the case. The refusal to provide the information justified an order for indemnity costs.


Comment

The Mail on Sunday was not in the strongest of positions, having agreed in a consent order to provide the information sought. Nevertheless, the Court went on to consider the issue of relevance, and ruled that the payments made to the sources were relevant to the claim. Assessment of damages in a privacy claim is another uncertain area. If damages are to be compensatory (for the hurt of the invasion) then payments to witnesses might only be relevant to aggravation. If the basis of assessment is restitutionary then the amount paid to the source would be very relevant in assessing the value of the information.


Instructing Solicitors

Bindman & Partners for the Claimant


Links

Newspaper Pays Damages to Officer - BBC
Police chief sues over kiss and tell - The Guardian
Police Chief Wins Damages from Mail on Sunday - The Guardian
Why we must protect privacy - The Guardian