The Court of Appeal yesterday dismissed the defendant’s renewed application for permission to appeal in the case of Thornton v Telegraph Media Group. The defendant newspaper was unsuccessful at trial and, in a judgment handed down on 26 July 2011 ( EWHC 1884 (QB)) was ordered to pay damages of £65,000 for libel and malicious falsehood. We had an Inforrm case comment at the time.
The trial judge refused permission to appeal and the defendant sought permission from the Court of Appeal. The application was supported by a comprehensive 36 page Skeleton argument.
The paper application for permission was considered by retired Lord Justice, Sir Richard Buxton. He refused permission on 7 December 2011, giving unusually detailed Reasons, of some 4 pages. He carefully analysed the defendant’s Skeleton argument but concluded that it did not raise serious issues of law but was, essentially, an attack on the judge’s findings of fact.
The defendant renewed its application at an oral hearing which took place on 21 February 2012 before Laws LJ. [Update]
The defendant submitted a “Statement Pursuant to PD 52 para 4.14A” – dealing with the points to be raised at the oral hearing.
After hearing submissions from David Price QC on behalf of the defendant – and also from Justin Rushbrooke for the claimant- Laws LJ dismissed the application. As a result, there will be no appeal in the Thornton case and the finding of malice against Lynn Barber stands.