World In Action's pounds 2m libel pay-out

GRANADA WILL today make one of the biggest libel settlements in legal history when it issues a full apology in the High Court to three police officers wrongly implicated in a World in Action programme of covering up a murder.

The settlement, to include pounds 100,000 to each Metropolitan Police officer and their costs of pounds 1.2m, comes after a six-year battle and six months after the programme's makers lost a pounds 1m libel action brought by Marks & Spencer. Combined with its own costs, Granada is set to lose pounds 2m in total.

A spokesman for the officers' solicitors, Russell Jones and Walker, said the men were pleased the case had concluded in their favour, but "this will never make up for the damage caused to these entirely innocent and blameless men". One of the men, Paul Giles, has since left the force, suffering mental problems and nervous breakdowns, and is unemployed and living in subsidised housing in Northern Ireland.

A Granada spokesman refused to comment but insiders confirmed it was settling the case today. It has already broadcast an apology.

The men - Mr Giles, Peter Bleakley and Emlyn Welsh, sued after World in Action broadcast a programme in April 1992 casting doubt on the official reasons for the death in December 1990, in a London police cell, of Patrick Quinn, an Irish labourer who had been arrested for being drunk and disorderly.

Quinn's cellmate, Malcolm Kennedy, was found covered in blood after the two were left alone. Kennedy was convicted of murder. The programme cast doubt on the official line, and, using evidence from Kennedy and a Police Complaints Authority inquiry, implied Quinn may have been killed by a policeman and that the officers were present and participated in a cover- up. Kennedy's conviction was quashed in February 1993.

New evidence found soon after indicated the officers were not in Hammersmith Police Station at the time of the murder, vindicating their stories and casting doubt on Kennedy's evidence and the documentary. He was retried and convicted of Quinn's manslaughter in April 1994, and next year the three officers issued a writ against Granada for libel.

Their solicitors said yesterday: "Viewers ... were left with the impression that it was a police officer who had murdered Patrick Quinn."

A source said Mr Giles initially sought more in damages than his former colleagues, believing the programme implied he had been involved in Quinn's killing. However, his mental state has deteriorated to the extent that he would not have been able to appear in court as a witness in his libel case.

The timing of the settlement will embarrass Granada, which last month won a contract to produce a new flagship one-hour documentary programmealong the lines of America's Sixty Minutes. Jeff Anderson, World in Action's editor, will oversee the new show.

Granada is believed to have won the contract for the new programme after its fierce rival, Carlton, found itself mired in a storm about the authenticity of some of its documentaries.

The Big Winners, from Elton to Archer

Elton John. Received pounds 1m in out-of-court settlement with The Sun in 1988 after it made allegations about his sex life.

Lord Aldington, former Tory deputy chairman, won pounds 1.5m in 1989 over claims by Count Nikolai Tolstoy that he sent Cossacks to their deaths in 1945.

John and Jean Walker, boat designers, awarded pounds 1,485,000 in 1994 over article in Yachting World attacking their boat.

Amount reduced to pounds 160,000.

Graeme Souness, former Liverpool football manager. Won pounds 750,000 for article in The People in 1993. Amount reduced to pounds 100,000.

Sonia Sutcliffe, former wife of Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe. Won pounds 600,000 from Private Eye, prompting the editor, Ian Hislop, famously to comment, "If this is justice, I'm a banana." Amount reduced to pounds 60,000.

Jeffrey Archer, novelist and Tory peer. Won pounds 500,000 in 1987 over allegations about his sex life in the Daily Star.

The Mirror paid pounds 1,125,000 in damages and costs in 1996 after Anthony Percy, a neurosurgeon, brought an action relating to allegations following a patient's death.

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
New Articles
i100... with this review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam