The parents of the Taylor sisters, freed on appeal from life sentences for murdering the wife of Michelle Taylor’s former lover, have withdrawn an application to the High Court for a judicial review of a Press Complaints Commission ruling. It follows a PCC promise to rehear their complaint in September.
The Taylors say they have fresh evidence to put forward to support the complaint against the Daily Mail for an article headlined, "Why I believe they are murderers", written by Jo Ann Goodwin in June last year. In February, the commission initially declined to adjudicate the complaint, made on the grounds of inaccuracy.
The reasons given were that it was made by a third party and that the matters and allegations it contained would be more appropriately dealt with in a defamation hearing.
The Taylors would always be free to return to their High Court judicial review application if they are not satisfied with the September hearing.
Meanwhile, the commission awaits the outcome of television newsreader Anna Ford’s application to the court for a similar review of the PCC’s decision rejecting her complaint of invasion of privacy.
Ford was photographed on a beach in Majorca with her fianc, former astronaut Colonel David Scott, from whom she has recently split. The photographs were used by the Daily Mail and OK! magazine.
The commission had ruled that Ford could not expect privacy on a public beach. At last week’s hearing, David Pannick, QC for the PCC, said: "This is a beach overlooked by apartments. It’s not simply a public beach but a beach in a tourist area at the height of the tourist season."
Ford’s QC, Geoffrey Robertson, said his client had asked for the judicial review after she had seen an article in The Independent by commission chairman Lord Wakeham discussing the outcome of her complaint, which she considered "unexpectedly boorish".
Unusually, judgment was reserved following last week’s hearing. An answer is usually given straight away.
With the end of the current legal term near, Mr Justice Silber may not give judgment until the court resumes in the autumn.
By Jean Morgan