Barry George wins libel damages

MGN makes apology and pays substantial damages over false harassment claims

The settlement of Mr George’s libel claim against MGN Ltd, Tina Weaver and David Jeffs was announced in a Statement in Open Court before Mr Justice Eady today.

Mr George had complained of articles in the Sunday Mirror and The People and on the website which alleged that following his acquittal of the murder of Jill Dando, at a re-trial in August 2008, he had become obsessed with TV personalities Cheryl Cole and Kay Burley and had harassed and pestered them.

The newspapers had also alleged that he had illegally attempted to obtain drugs from a hospital by fraudulently claiming to be someone else and that he had harassed and stalked a nurse in London.
At the hearing MGN Ltd and the other defendants accepted that all those allegations were false and apologised to Mr George for making them. They also paid him substantial damages and his legal costs.

5RB‘s Gordon Bishop acted for Mr George in his claim against MGN. He also represented him in his claim against New Group Newspapers which settled in December 2009, and is continuing to act for him in his application for judicial review of the Justice Secretary’s decision that he is not entitled to compensation for the 7 years he spent in prison prior to his retrial because he has not proved his innocence beyond reasonable doubt.

The full Statement in Open Court can be accessed by clicking on the pdf icon below.