Daily Telegraph forced to apologise to senior judge

A senior judge received a public apology today over a series of “professionally damaging” allegations that appeared in the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Lord Justice Sedley, who has served in the Court of Appeal since 1999, sued over an article from November last year headed “Judge ‘hastened deaths of elderly’.”

It was based on a complaint made to the Office for Judicial Complaints by a solicitor advocate who had appeared on two occasions in 2009 before a court presided over by Sedley, his counsel, Desmond Browne QC, told Justice Sharp at the High Court.

“Recognising the lack of merit in the complaint, the OJC in January dismissed it in its entirety,” Browne said. ‘Ordinarily, this would have been the end of the matter.

‘However, the Daily Telegraph’s article repeated, and so placed in the public domain, a series of allegations derived from the complaint which were so professionally damaging that it became necessary to commence proceedings so as to make the truth known by way of an agreed statement in open court.

“To that end, the Daily Telegraph is here today to make it clear that the allegations to which it gave currency were wholly without foundation.

“The paper, to its credit, has at no stage sought to suggest that they were true. What is more, it has agreed to publish a report of this statement in tomorrow’s edition with similar prominence as the original article.

“It will also be paying Lord Justice Sedley’s legal costs and making a charitable donation in lieu of damages.”

Advocate Helen Morris, for Telegraph Media Group, said that the newspaper was pleased to take the opportunity to apologise to Sedley.

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