Reverends Riviere and Such receive third apology from The Times
The Times has made a statement in open court apologising to the Reverends Riviere and Such for publishing the article Love-split vicar sees church burn to the ground. The current news event reported upon was the burning down of the Church of St Peter in Ropley, Hampshire, where the Reverend Such is the parish priest. However, the article also included an allegation that in the 1990s the Reverend Such had scandalised his parishioners and caused them to abandon him because he had left the mother of his five children for the married Reverend Riviere. This was false. The Reverend Riviere was a widow before the couple met and the Reverend Such’s wife had left him before the relationship with the Reverend Riviere began. The Times accepted that their relationship had always been a proper one and had been in keeping with the rules of the church. The Reverends have been married to each other since August 1995.
Mr Justice Warby was told that The Times had published the same allegation twice before and twice before apologised and accepted that the allegation was false, in 1996 and 1997, and that when it apologised the second time in 1997 it assured the Reverends that steps would be taken to ensure that the allegation was never published again.
5RB’s William Bennett acted on behalf of the Claimants instructed by Eric Baehr of Ellis Jones Solicitors.
- The Guardian: The Times pays married vicars damages for third successive libel
- The Press Gazette: Two vicars win Times libel damages over ‘love-split scandal’ allegations