Racing libel case: QCs for both plaintiffs and defendants make their summing up speeches.
`Thompson has been trapped by his own deceit. He is a name-dropper' QC for Ramsdens and Kieren Fallon
Wednesday 25 February 1998
"The starting point," Milmo said, "is that the scale of improbability of Derek Thompson's tale being true is quite monumental. What Kieren Fallon was doing, according to Mr Thompson, was confessing to a very serious breach of the rules by himself and by his employers, perhaps even amounting to criminal conduct. It could certainly ruin his career. Derek Thompson is not a friend or even an acquaintance, and he knew he was connected with the media. Surely he was the last person you would want to know if you had done something like that."
Milmo argued that Thompson "has been trapped by his own deceit". He said that this was "entirely in keeping with the character of the man. He is a name-dropper who likes people to think he is friendly with everyone. You can imagine him telling people the next day that his good friend Kieren Fallon had told him that he'd stopped Top Cees. He no doubt thought it the end of the matter, leaving his reputation as a man who knows everything slightly enhanced."
The libel action, however, presented Thompson with "an unwelcome choice. He either had to put his hands up and say to his colleagues, `sorry, what I told you was untrue', or stick to his story whatever the consequences. He at least would be okay." The presenter, Milmo said, was "someone who practises deception, albeit of a minor kind, day by day".
Milmo said that the jury had not heard "from a single punter or ordinary racegoer", but rather "a succession of journalists and Channel 4 Racing team members, all assisting each other". The article, he said, was "an illustration of the power and arrogance of the press and related media. They decide the agenda, who is guilty and not guilty of misconduct, and we must accept it from them." The Ramsdens, Milmo said, had been "crucified by the media and The Sporting Life," and it was one of the jury's tasks "to see that this kind of abuse of power is not permitted."
Of the plaintiffs, he said: "You must ask yourselves if Lynda Ramsden came across as a conspirator in a murky and devious world of pulling horses." Jack Ramsden, he said, had been "an open and candid witness", who "did not shirk for a moment" from full disclosure of his gambling activities. Fallon, meanwhile, had made no attempt to "duck the issue" of his poor disciplinary record. "He is now the champion jockey, contracted to one of the country's most famous trainers, Henry Cecil. Do you think he would have reached those heights by pulling horses?"
It is a question which the jury will be asked to answer today.
The magicians using online collaboration to push the boundaries
Jennifer Lawrence attacks mass media again over body image
Paris charity auction staged to save the ancient city of Tyre
scienceScientists find the answer to a question that even puzzled Darwin
A very timely Great Train Robbery and a frantic 24 Hours in A&E among the highlights
Latest in Sport
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Ian Watkins: Paedophile Lostprophets singer sentenced to 35 years for child sex offences, as judge labels him a 'dangerous sexual predator'
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber announces he's 'retiring from music'
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
£25000 - £32000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Business Analyst - Banking...
£21999 - £27001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have exten...
£25000 - £35000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...
£42000 - £51000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Are You Receiving...