Sylvia Henry v Haringey London Borough Council

Facts

A statement in open court was made in a libel action brought by the claimant employee (H) against her employer, the defendant local authority.

The local authority had posted a statement on its website in which it alleged that, whilst working as a social worker, H had not raised concerns about the possible risk to a baby, known in the press as Baby P, of staying in the care of his mother. The baby later died. However, H had expressed such concerns and had in fact tried to obtain the necessary authorisation for an application for a care order to be made. The local authority accepted that the allegation was false and that H was not implicated in the mistakes which led to the baby's death. It apologised to H for publishing the allegations, gave an undertaking not to repeat them and agreed to pay damages. Leave to withdraw the record was requested.

Held

Statement issued in open court.

Comment

A statement in open court was made in proceedings for defamation following the publication of a false statement on a local authority website which referred to the claimant social worker.

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