June 12, 2006
Former driving examiner wins £30,000
Claims he 'played the system' completely false
A former driving examiner has won £30,000 in libel damages over claims that he had deliberately failed driving test candidates and had distorted the Driving Standards Agency’s percentage pass rates at the Ashford Driving Test Centre where he used to work.
The Claimant, Mr Peter Murray had been accused by the Motor Schools Association Newslink monthly magazine of “playing the system”, by marking candidates appropriately under supervised check test conditions, but too harshly when he was not supervised.
The libel was admitted shortly before trial, and the defendants agreed to publish a front page apology in their next edition. They also joined in a statement in court apologising for their allegations.
The damages were assessed by Mr Justice Eady at a hearing at the High Court in London. The Judge considered evidence from Mr and Mrs Murray as to the effect the libel had on Mr Murray and his family life, and the manner in which the defendants had “dragged out” their defence.
The Defendants were also ordered to pay indemnity costs for the action, since Mr Murray had made an offer to compromise the proceedings at the outset.