Sunday, 28 June 2015

Day 7 'Source' for the gander/s

Blimey those seats at the Royal Courts of Justice are hard ! So, guys and gals, SOME of you will be aware that the Frederick Starr v Karin Ward libel case ended on Wednesday. The judgement will be published in due course and I have no idea how things will play out. I do however know what was said on Tuesday 23rd June, because I was there. The press however, were not, so while we wait for Justice Nichol (a good egg from what I saw) to make his decision, I'll give you an outline of what I heard during the closing submissions. 
David Price (DP) for the defence argues that KW should not have been sued because she had provided information to the media on the grounds of public interest.

He went on to submit that, only those who would have been aware of the claims would identify Freddie from her web memoir. He had not been named, so no-one watching the eventual broadcast of Wards' interview would have KNOWN it was him she was referring to.
When asked by Judge Nichol (J) about the number of 'views' of her online memoir, DP stated that there had been "  significant but unknown number of readers"
Now, let me explain a bit about this memoir because later on in the proceedings, it was confirmed that Ward had STARTED to write this in 2008. I have no idea WHEN this appeared online in 'fanstory' and I have no idea WHICH version Meirion Jones read prior to his actions on October 31st 2011. Because, there have been VARIOUS versions of this work the latest making it into paperback and other formats.
The original version was deleted from the site but not before Fiona managed to copy it, according to her that is

I provide the above for information only and in the public interest.  
 There was some argument about whether it was incumbent on the claimant to produce actual viewing figures. There was also discussion between the Judge and Freddie's barrister DD as to whether the claim form (pleadings) used to words 'slander' or 'libel' but the Judged confirmed that he would consider this and any amendment applications in his final judgement.

 Now, here's where things got interesting because DP introduces new words to describe people such as one of the witnesses, Susan. He referred to her as a "Savile Denier" and Savile denier's see this case as being really about Savile. The defendant Karin Ward is, to Savile denier's, the "poster girl" of the Savile case !

DD for the claimant FS started his closing submissions covering the issue of Ward's interview on camera, being a "permanent form" that could be played, listened to and repeated on other occassions. But it's not just libel at the point of broadcast, it's libel the moment she makes her claims to the journalists on camera.
There followed a discussion about whether the claimant was suing for slander or libel. This issue is way too complicated for me and is therefore best left to the legals to sort out. The Judge says that the claim form itself cites slander in regard to the " ITV wordings " 

DD described the harm done to his client's 'reputation'. The importance of which cannot be underestimated.

The defendant, he says does not plead 'responsible journalism'. She is the SOURCE of the information. It's only the BBC. ITV etc who can take the necessary steps to ensure 'responsible journalism'. He cites the 'Jameel' case so I include it FYI only.

DD submits that Ward is responsible for the republishing of the defamatory remarks because she gave ITV permission to use  her filmed interview. MWT told the court that "in this particular matter it was verbal authorisation" She had given "onscreen acceptance" and was happy for it to be used "as we saw fit"

I didn't get to hear what permissions were sought by the BBC. But, KW did refer to Freddie in the taped/filmed interview on 14th November 2011. I know this because Meirion Jones told Pollard that he knew about the 'comedian'. Wards recollections of the events are very different !

 Now, this is what was published in the press the day after Exposure minus Ward's interview was broadcast !

But, who would have known that the person Ward refers to on October 3rd 2012 was the claimant ? I have no idea but I do know that everyone who could read or hear KNEW who it was a few days later. 

DD submitted that the claims made by KW could have resulted in a prison sentence for his client. She said he had groped her, she was, at the very least a 14 year old schoolgirl, that being the only age she had given during the filmed interview ! 

But she wasn't 14 was she ? I am reliably informed that this episode of clunk click was recorded in March 1974, by the end of the month, Ward would have been 16. 
Ward's stated age managed to increase a year sometime between her fffffouteen statement and this court case. If she didn't tell the press she was just 14, then who did ? 

 Let's see what the Judge makes of all this. I'm told his decision will be published in a few weeks. In the meantime, time for a rest ! 





  1. Good work, Rabbit! Must've been very interesting sitting in court.

    1. Thanks Sally, it was ! Glad I went but I'll take a cardigan next time. The AC comes on and it was bloody cold !!! Freddie wasn't there neither was KW.

  2. The commentary about whether or not the complainant would have been identified seems curious given that the law itself had evidently deemed he would be, since Ward never "made the cut" of the actual Exposure programme because there was an Injunction against all of this - an Injunction that was rescinded within a day or two of the broadcast, so how on earth can there be a contention that no ID could be made? It seems the law itself might need to "take the stand".