Jury in 'roadside sex' libel case fails to agree

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The Independent Online
THE JURY in the libel action brought by Gillian Taylforth, the EastEnders actress, against the Sun newspaper failed to agree a verdict yesterday and will resume its discussions today, writes Will Bennett.

After four hours of debate, the eight men and four women were told by the judge, Mr Justice Drake, that he would allow a majority verdict of at least 10-2.

Miss Taylforth and her fiance Geoff Knights, both 38, of Highbury New Park, north London, are suing the Sun over an article which alleged that they had indulged in a 'sex romp' in their Range Rover on a slip road of the A1 in Hertfordshire. The newspaper denies libel.

The couple deny that they were having oral sex when a police officer stopped by their vehicle. They say that Mr Knights suffers from pancreatitis and that Miss Taylforth was massaging his stomach because he was feeling sick.

In his summing up yesterday, Mr Justice Drake said: 'There is a complete dispute on evidence as to whether the policeman did or did not see an indecent act . . .

'He says he did. The plaintiffs say he didn't. There is really no room for a mistake there. Someone simply blatantly isn't telling the truth.'