Makin v News Group Newspapers Ltd, Court of Appeal - Chancery Division, June 12, 2017, [2017] EWHC 1386 (Ch)

Issuing Organization:Chancery Division
Actores:Makin v News Group Newspapers Ltd
Resolution Date:June 12, 2017
 
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Case No: HC-2017-001690

Neutral Citation Number: [2017] EWHC 1386 (Ch)

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

CHANCERY DIVISION

Royal Courts of Justice

Rolls Building,

Fetter Lane,

London, EC4A 1NL

Date: 12 June 2017

Before :

MR JUSTICE SNOWDEN

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Between :

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Mr. Robin Makin (of E. Rex Makin & Co.) in person

Mr. Jonathan Caplan QC and Ms. Alex Marzec (instructed by Simons Muirhead and Burton LLP) for the Defendant

Hearing date: 12 June 2017

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JudgmentMR JUSTICE SNOWDEN :

Background

  1. Commencing at about 7.50 p.m. in the evening of Friday 19 May 2017 I heard an urgent application by telephone, by counsel on behalf of Mr. Robin Makin, who is the executor of the will of the late Ian Stewart-Brady, the infamous Moors murderer.

  2. The application was for an injunction to restrain The Sun newspaper from publishing an article containing details of Brady's will and the requests which it contained in relation to his funeral arrangements. The details had allegedly been obtained from a former executor who had been Brady's mental health advocate, in circumstances which Mr. Makin claimed amounted to a breach of confidence.

  3. I was told that the hearing was exceptionally urgent because The Sun had refused to give an undertaking not to publish its article, and that the relevant part of the paper would be going to press at about 8 p.m. Because of what was said to be the extreme urgency of the application, it was made without any proceedings having been issued and without my having been provided with any papers.

  4. The hearing by telephone lasted about 45 minutes and was attended by counsel on behalf of both Mr. Makin and The Sun. After having heard argument, I refused an injunction, primarily on the basis that I was not satisfied that Mr. Makin was more likely than not to succeed at trial. In making my decision, I took into account that,

    i) there was a public interest in the fact that the will contained details of a book which Brady had apparently written about his crimes which he wanted published;

    ii) there was obviously no risk that publication would cause detriment to Brady or his reputation;

    iii) the will would have to be made public in due course in any event;

    iv) publication would not cause any material further prejudice to Mr. Makin in relation to the difficulties which he faced in making arrangements for Brady's funeral. There had already been intense media speculation and interest in that regard;

    v) there was a risk of significant loss and damage to The...

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