Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Press Can Call Man a Gangster, Rules High Court

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Press Can Call Man a Gangster, Rules High Court

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Cheston Courts Correspondent

AN east London businessman can be described as a head of a gang capable of murder, drug dealing and fraud, a High Court judge ruled today.

David Hunt, 52, had sued the Sunday Times for libel for stating he was a crime lord even Scotland Yard regarded as too big to take on. He stood in the High Court witness box to tell the court the allegations had "crucified" him and caused "heartbreak", damaging his business dealings.

He also sued the Standard, which had described him as being head of a major criminal network. But today Mr Justice Simon threw out his claims against the Sunday Times which could have brought him [pounds sterling]250,000 in damages.

The judge said Sunday Times reporter Michael Gillard had worked on "reliable and knowledgeable" sources and information contained in police documents. "On the basis of the information...

I am satisfied it was reasonable

for him to describe Hunt as a violent and dangerous criminal and the head of an organised crime gang implicated in murder, drug trafficking and fraud, the judge added. …

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