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24.10.19

The Times and The Daily Telegraph pay libel damages to Treasury Counsel over alleged errors in Ben Stokes prosecution

The Times and Daily Telegraph have agreed to pay libel damages and legal costs to Treasury Counsel Alison Morgan QC after suggesting that she was facing criticism for selecting the wrong charges in the 2018 prosecution of international cricketer Ben Stokes and responsible for a decision not to charge fellow England cricketer Alex Hales.

The settlements were announced in a statement made in the High Court on 24 October 2019.  A copy of the statement can be found here.

The settlements followed a preliminary trial of issue in the claim against The Times, in which Mr Justice Soole found that words complained of were defamatory at common law and had a tendency to cause serious harm to reputation (see our article here).

The Mail settled a similar claim in November 2018 (see our article here).

On 14 August 2018 Ben Stokes and two co-defendants were acquitted of affray at Bristol Crown Court following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub on 25 September 2017.  A number of England players had attended the nightclub to celebrate a victory against the West Indies. Alex Hales was not charged with any offence.

Ms Morgan had not been involved in deciding who to prosecute or for what offences.

 

Alison Morgan was represented by Iain Wilson and Tom Double of Brett Wilson LLP and William Bennett QC of 5RB


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