At Monday 23 April 2012, Mr Justice Tugendhat will begin hearing the adjourned trial in the case of Trimingham v Associated Newspapers. As we reported at the time, the case originally came on for trial before the same judge on 4 October 2011 but was adjourned the following day after the claimant made a successful application for permission to amend.

The claim is being brought by Carina Trimingham, partner of Chris Huhne, against Associated Newspapers, as publisher of the Daily Mail, for its portrayal of her since the break up of Mr Huhne’s marriage to Vicky Pryce.  As reported by the “Independent” in February 2012

Ms Trimingham separated from her female civil partner in 2009, and it is her sexuality that forms the basis of her case.  She is suing for breach of privacy and harassment, arguing that in its reporting of Mr Huhne’s affair and subsequent references, the Daily Mail … has repeatedly and unnecessarily referred to her sexuality”.

The claim concerns articles which described the claimant as Mr Huhne’s “bisexual lover”, “boyish”, and referred to the “life and very different loves of the PR girl in Doc Martens”, saying she had had relationships with men and women “but generally not at the same time”.

The amended Particulars of Claim includes a claim under the Protection from Harassment Act 1998.   Although the issue of “harassment” by the press was considered on a strike out application in the case of Thomas v News Group Newspapers ([2001] EWCA Civ 1233) this will be first occasion on which the issue will have been considered at a trial.

The claimant is represented by Matthew Ryder QC and William Bennett, instructed by Charlotte Harris of Mishcon de Reya.  Associated Newspapers is represented by Antony White QC and Alexandra Marzec, instructed by Jaron Lewis of RPC.  The trial is listed for 5 days.