The claimant painted her building in red and white vertical stripes which attracted media attention. She issued libel proceedings for two articles published by the defendant in the Daily Mail and online that alleged the claimant had defaulted on commitments to make financial and property commitments to the family of her late husband and had therefore betrayed her husband’s trust. There was also a libel complaint about a private ‘close’ matter. The defendant made an Offer of Amends under the Defamation Act 1996. A joint Statement in Open Court was made but the parties were unable to agree on the appropriate compensation and therefore a damages hearing was held before HHJ Parkes QC. The judge awarded the claimant £54,000 damages. This sum represented damages of £90,000 with a discount of 40% for the Offer of Amends. There was also a claim for special damages for the cost of removing the republications and repetitions of the libels online. This was recoverable in principle, however the judge held that there were reasons connected to the pleadings as to why it was not awarded in this case.
Hugh Tomlinson QC and Sara Mansoori were involved in this case.