NGN Ltd pays damages over criminal proceedings article

Publisher apologises for “unfair and inaccurate” report of court proceedings

The Sun has apologised to Paul Seeley, an officer with a law enforcement agency, and paid him damages for an article which it published in The Sun newspaper and on its website on 14 July 2021.

The article reported on criminal proceedings at which Mr Seeley had given evidence for the prosecution, focusing on an allegation which had been put to Mr Seeley in cross-examination by counsel for the defendant.

The articles, in substance, accused Mr Seeley of being corrupt. NGN Ltd initially contended that the defence of absolute privilege applied, but in a Statement in Open Court accepted that the articles were unfair and inaccurate; the articles had failed to report the material which had been put before the court and which wholly undermined the allegation put to Mr Seeley in cross-examination.

The Statement in Open Court was read in the Royal Courts of Justice before HHJ Lewis (sitting as a Judge of the High Court) on 18 May 2023 and is available in full here.

Adrienne Page KC and Kate Wilson, instructed by Christopher Hutchings, represented the Claimant. Adam Wolanski KC was instructed by Simon Muirhead & Burton for the Defendant.