Baby P's father sues The People for libel

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Baby P's father sues The People for libel

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:23 pm

The natural father of Baby Peter is suing the publishers of a Sunday newspaper for £130,000 for printing "one of the gravest libels imaginable".

A High Court judge was told the father, who cannot be named, was wrongly accused in The People of being a sex offender convicted of raping a 14-year-old girl. Newspaper publishers MGN Ltd later apologised and offered to pay damages.


Peter Connelly died after being subjected to sustained abuse

The offer was not enough to compensate the father, said QC James Dingemans. The allegations were contained in two paragraphs in a crime supplement about Peter's mother, who had separated from Peter's father, referred to as "KC".

They appeared in The People on 19 September 2010 in an article entitled "Tortured to death as mum turned a blind eye".

'Shocking and appalling'

Peter, later named as Peter Connelly, was just 17 months old when he was found dead at his mother's home in Tottenham, north London, in August 2007. He had more than 50 injuries. Tracey Connelly was jailed in 2009 after admitting causing or allowing his death. Her boyfriend Steven Barker and their lodger, Jason Owens, who was Barker's brother, were found guilty at the Old Bailey of the same charge.

Mr Dingemans said the allegations about the natural father in the wake of the tragedy were "shocking and appalling". However MGN treated him "as if he didn't really matter".

Heather Rogers QC, appearing for MGN, told the court: "This was a mistake MGN regrets and it has apologised to the claimant, and I repeat that apology on its behalf in this court."

However, she denied KC had been badly treated, or that MGN had conducted any kind of "campaign" against him, or dismissed his legitimate complaint.

In a statement before the court, KC said: "I was shocked and upset beyond words. I thought the whole world would think that I was a really awful man. I could not believe that such an appalling, untrue statement had been published about me to the whole country. I feel the defendant's whole approach has been to pretend I do not exist, because they did not contact me about the story, to treat me and correspondence on my behalf as an annoyance as not worth their time, and to belittle me and my feelings."

Mr Dingemans said of KC: "He is a man of good character, with no previous convictions living with the fall-out (of Peter's death) day-by-day, and never a sex offender - never guilty of rape."

The rape conviction had been imposed on Peter's maternal grandfather, the QC told Mr Justice Bean.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-17181065

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Re: Baby P's father sues The People for libel

Post by SEXY MAMA on Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:53 pm

Oh God!

Testing times for the father!

I hope he gets it.
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Baby P's Father Awarded £75,000 In Damages

Post by Guest on Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:42 pm


Peter Connelly died in August 2007

The natural father of Baby Peter has been awarded £75,000 after wrongly being described in The People newspaper as a sex offender convicted of raping a 14-year-old girl.

Lawyers for the man, who can only be referred to as "KC", said the publishers of the Sunday newspaper were guilty of "one of the gravest libels imaginable".

Mr Justice Bean awarded KC the damages plus legal costs saying it was "difficult to think of any charge more calculated to lead to the revulsion and condemnation of a person's fellow citizens than the rape of a 14-year-old girl".

The newspaper's publishers, MGN Ltd, had apologised and offered to pay damages. However the offer came late and was not enough to compensate the father for the suffering and distress the "completely false" reports had caused, James Dingemans QC, appearing for KC, told Mr Justice Bean at a recent hearing. The allegations against KC were contained in two paragraphs in a crime supplement about Baby P's mother, who had separated from KC. They appeared in The People on September 19, 2010 in an article entitled "Tortured to death as mum turned a blind eye".

Peter Connelly died in Tottenham, north London, on August 3, 2007 at the hands of his mother, Tracey Connelly, her lover, Steven Barker, and their lodger, Barker's brother Jason Owen. He had suffered more than 50 injuries despite being on the at-risk register and receiving 60 visits from social workers, police and health professionals during the final eight months of his life. The trio were jailed after admitting causing or allowing his death.
Mr Dingemans said the allegations about the natural father in the wake of the tragedy were "shocking and appalling". However, MGN treated KC "as if he didn't really matter".

Heather Rogers QC, appearing for MGN, told the High Court hearing: "This was a mistake that MGN regrets and it has apologised to the claimant, and I repeat that apology on its behalf in this court." However, she denied KC had been badly treated, or that MGN had conducted any kind of "campaign" against him, or dismissed his legitimate complaint.

http://news.sky.com/home/uk-news/article/16182529

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