Today at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, the Mail on Sunday formally admitted that their paper published an article featuring unfounded allegations that wrecked the life of a working single mother from Leeds. They will also apologise and pay her damages.
Danielle Hindley said in a statement,
“I took my case to the press complaints body IPSO but they didn’t fulfil their responsibilities. They didn’t care that the reporter Charlotte Wace came into my home and filmed me and my child with a hidden camera. They allowed the Mail on Sunday bury a correction deep in the paper. There was no apology.
Today in court the Mail on Sunday and its owners, Associated Newspapers, have admitted that what they published about me was false.
In other words, I did nothing wrong, yet the Mail on Sunday abused my privacy and pushed me to the point where my son almost had no mother. And it has taken two years to achieve today’s vindication.”
Hacked Off co-founder Brian Cathcart said,
“You don’t need to be famous to get this treatment from the UK press. They do it to anyone. They will ruin your business, your health, your family life – and if you complain they just pile on the misery, partly to punish you and partly to warn off others.
This was a shocking instance of reckless cruelty by a national newspaper towards a working single mother in Leeds. Credit to Danielle Hindley for fighting back, and to her solicitor, for taking on the case and winning.
Hacked Off’s Campaign Manager Hannah Mian said,
“Today Danielle Hindley has received some recognition of what The Mail on Sunday cruelly did to her, but the fact that it has taken more than 2 years to get this judgment is appalling. We hope today brings Danielle some much needed closure.”
“What do you do when a powerful newspaper publishes a false story about you? Danielle did everything right, she told the Mail that the story was false and then upon publication of the unfounded allegations sought recourse through IPSO, the industry-controlled complaints handler. IPSO, despite partially upholding Danielle’s complaint, did their best to let the Mail off the hook. The only ‘punishment’ meted out to the paper was that they had to publish a small correction on page 8 many months later – when the damage was already done.”
“It couldn’t be clearer, IPSO let the Mail off, and it took court action for the newspaper to finally admit wrongdoing, make a formal apology and pay damages. IPSO is incapable of protecting ordinary members of the public who have their lives destroyed in similar ways or giving them adequate recourse for wrong. It is there to protect their paymasters – the already powerful newspapers – not the British public.”
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Hacked Off is the campaign for a free and accountable press, and we work with the victims of press abuse to achieve those aims.