Liverpool Solicitors Armstrongs succeeded in a defamation claim brought by Mark Bridger against the Crown Prosecution Service.

Armstrongs commented, “This is another high profile win for the Defamation team and establishes Armstrongs as a leading advisor on Defamation proceedings after a number of recent successful libel cases. The claim arose out of an email of the 7th January 2009 sent by the Crown Prosecution Service to Mr Bridger’s employer, Bexhill College.

Mr Bridger had been acquitted in December 2008 at the Hove Crown Court of two charges of rape and one charge of sexual assault. The email sent to Mr Bridger’s employer failed to advise his employer of this.

Proceedings were issued by Mr Bridger for  defamation of character  and an injunction.

The claim was settled shortly after the issue of proceedings.

The Defendants represented by The Treasury Solicitor agreed to pay compensation to Mr Bridger along with his legal costs and an agreed apology in the following terms:

In December 2008, you were acquitted at Hove Crown Court of sexually assaulting a 17 year old girl after the Trial Judge ruled that you had no case to answer on the issue of consent. On 6th January 2009 your former employers, Bexhill College, made a request to the CPS to be provided with information about the case, including how you had behaved towards the complainant. On 7th January 2009, an email was sent to Sue Adams of Bexhill College in which we provided her with the information that she had requested by reproducing the outline of the case prepared by the Crown. Regrettably it was not made clear in the email, as it had been in the telephone conversation, that you had been acquitted and the summary prepared before the trial should be read in that context. The email was not intended to convey the impression that it was the continuing belief of the CPS that you were guilty of the charges which you faced in the criminal prosecution or that the “not guilty” verdict entered in your favour was an aberration. We accept that you were not guilty of any such charges. I apologise for the distress and upset that the email has caused you.

Mr Bridger commented that he was happy that finally the stress and strain of the ordeal was over and that the CPS had accepted the position and agreed to pay him damages. He was delighted with the outcome and felt that he could now move on with his life.

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