Businessman sues Standard over crime syndicate story

Businessman David Hunt is demanding libel damages from the Evening Standard claiming that a story it published branded him the leader of a criminal network.

Hunt is suing publishers Evening Standard Ltd over a story headed ‘Crime syndicates compete for £20m Government cash’which appeared on 24 May 24.

Law firm Hughmans has been instructed by Hunt, who says the story claimed he was the leader of an East End criminal network planning to take over a large development site before selling it on to a notorious London gang.

According to a writ filed at the High Court, Hunt claims the story seriously damaged his character and reputation, and caused him distress, embarrassment, and injured feelings.

He is also claiming aggravated damages, citing the seriousness of the allegations, which he says were published without any investigation or research. Hunt also claims he was not contacted before publication, or given a chance to reply to the claims.

According to the writ, the Evening Standard took two weeks to remove the story from its website after Hunt complained, and has not taken sufficient steps to ensure it was removed from other electronic databases.

Hunt, who describes himself as a businessman with substantial interests in commercial property in the London area, is also seeking an injunction banning the paper from repeating the allegations at the centre of his claim.

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