Conclusion of claims against The Times, the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail
A statement in open court has been read which signals the conclusion of the libel claims brought by Alison Morgan QC concerning defamatory allegations regarding her conduct of the criminal prosecution of the England cricketer Ben Stokes.
She was accused by the Daily Mail, The Times and the Daily Telegraph of failing in her decisions as to who to charge and for what offences in regard to the prosecution of Mr Stokes and others arising out of a fracas outside a Bristol nightclub in September 2018 . The Daily Mail published an apology to Ms Morgan in November 2018. The Times contested that the article it published did not defame her in the common law sense. At the conclusion of a three day trial of this issue, that of meaning and whether the article had a tendency to cause serious harm, Mr Justice Soole found that the article did defame her at common law, that it bore the meanings pleaded on her behalf and that it had a tendency to cause serious harm to her reputation. The headline to the article read: Senior prosecutor under fire after Stokes is cleared of affray.
Today’s statement in open court concerned the claims brought against The Times and the Daily Telegraph.
As William Bennett QC explained to the court, the allegations against Ms Morgan were unjustified. She was only briefly involved in the case and had no involvement in selecting which charges to bring or in determining who the defendants were.