Chris Packham says ‘line in the sand’ has been crossed with defamatory articles

Environmentalist Chris Packham has said that a “line in the sand” has been crossed after a series of defamatory articles made claims that he misled the public to donate to an active charity. wild animals to save tigers.

Naturalist he TV is suing 3 men for defamation in the Supreme Court over 9 online articles alleging he deceived people into donating to charity to rescue tigers while know that they are well taken care of.

The strongly denied allegations, echoed in several tweets and videos, relate to Mr Packham’s involvement with the Wildheart Trust charity, which runs a wildlife sanctuary on the Isle of Wight.

One of the articles on the Country Squire Magazine website said Mr Packham and his partner had been “clearly dishonest with the British public”, adding: “The money was raised by bending the truth. their and now they need to clean up and tell the truth. ”

There’s a line in the sand and it’s crossed and I want to make sure they and anyone else looking to use such methods come back. And there.Chris Packham

The weblog’s editor Dominic Wightman, writer Nigel Bean and third defendant, Paul Read, are defending the libel allegation.

In written arguments, Mr Wightman and Mr Bean previously said: “The claims complained of are serious and will tend to be defamatory if they are not factual and true.”

At a hearing last month, Mr. Justice Johnson was asked to decide how a casual reader would understand some of the 19 articles, videos and tweets in the lawsuit.

In a ruling on Thursday, the judge ruled the charges were defamatory and “based on statements of fact rather than the expression of opinion”.

Mr Justice Johnson said he “widely agreed” with Mr Packham’s attorneys on the meaning of each publication.

He continued: “The basic meaning of many of them is a twist on the subject that the plaintiff has dishonestly raised funds from the public by saying that the tigers have been rescued from the theater. circus where they were mistreated, when in fact, as the claimant knew, the tigers were treated well and were donated by the circus. “

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“Each of those meanings is defamation of the common law claimant. All meanings lie in statements of fact and not expressions of opinion,” the judge added.


Mr Packham’s barrister Jonathan Price said the articles, videos and tweets were “filled with clear references to lies, deception and fraud and Mr Packham was presented as the center of the deception”. (Giles Anderson / PA)

Following Thursday’s ruling, Mr Packham said he had “no choice but to file a claim.

“Truth and love, and love of truth, are things we cherish,” he said. They give us the ability to improve, to become better people.

“They give us the opportunity to create a better world. So we have to protect them, sometimes at a heavy cost. And that is why I have no choice but to pursue this litigation process.

“In this case, all three actively sought to damage my reputation.

“There is a line in the sand and it has been crossed and I want to make sure that they and anyone else looking to use such methods come back. And stay there. ”

Mr Justice Johnson later said the three men “did not shy away from” their allegation that Mr Packham “abused his role as a BBC presenter to trick the public into making charitable donations under the pretense that tigers had been stolen”. a circus persecuted and was rescued by a zoo”.

The three men defending the claim have said that readers are asked “to decide for themselves” about some of the claims, with the articles containing a series of questions highlighting “doubts”.

However, the judge rejected this argument, finding: “The questions raised in the articles were devices that conveyed, in a compelling and emphasizing way, that the claimant had trying to raise money for charity by lying.”

Is this really investigative journalism that collects information for the public good… it will contain no levels of maliciousness, bitterness, and malice.Jonathan Price

During a hearing last month, Mr Packham’s attorney, Jonathan Price, said the articles, videos and tweets “were heavily linked to lies, deception and fraud and that Mr Packham was presented at the heart of the proceedings.” deceive”.

“They attacked Mr. Packham’s integrity and honesty, and accused him of serious crime,” he said.

Mr Price told the court several reports accused Mr Packham of having a “clear malice” and playing “Asperger’s victim card”.

He continued: “Is this investigative journalism that actually collects information for the public good… it will not contain a level of maliciousness, bitterness, and malice.”

However, Mr Wightman, speaking on behalf of the three defendants, told the court they were “delighted to vigorously defend the truth about our articles and tweets”.

He said the articles were a “long-term journalistic investigation” and that he was “standing on a mountain of truth” about the allegations. Chris Packham says ‘line in the sand’ has been crossed with defamatory articles

Fry Electronics Team

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