NI: Sunday World wins appeal against £50k ‘Scrooge’ judgment

NI: Sunday World wins appeal against £50k 'Scrooge' judgment

A £50,000 libel judgment against the Sunday World for referring to a County Down businessman as “a Scrooge” has been overturned by the Court of Appeal in Belfast.

The Sunday World wrote in December 2014 that hotelier Gordon Coulter had “been branded a Scrooge for putting his staff on the street a week before Christmas”.

Lord Justice Gillen ruled that the High Court wrongly interpreted the description of Mr Coulter as a statement of fact, rather than a figure of speech comparable to calling someone “a Hitler”.

He therefore concluded that the order for £50,000 in damages cannot stand and should be set aside. The Sunday World will receive costs.

Lord Justice Gillen has directed a retrial of the original action.

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