In the latest move in a long running saga over the reporting of child sex abuse allegations made by Esther Baker to journalists, former Liberal Democrat MP, John Hemming lost a case for a summary judgement giving him aggravated damages against journalist, Sonia Poulton. The case will now go to a full trial.
Hemming was also unable to strike out most of her defence and the judge ruled that a counterclaim by her for damages for harassment and injunctive relief, pursuant to the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 could go ahead. The latter counter claim was also against Sam Collingwood Smith and Darren Laverty, whom the judge said with the MP ” have been in some communication with one another, and have to some extent supported and assisted one another in various activities, not least litigation.”
The judge also allowed Sonia Poulton to amend her defence when the case goes to a full trial. There is a separate case for damages being pursued by Darren Laverty.
The full judgement can be read here. It includes the history of a previous case between John Hemming and Esther Baker and the circumstances that surrounded a film interview Sonia Poulton gave which went on YouTube.