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  1. Media Law
March 4, 2015

PC at centre of Plebgate scandal wins £80k libel payout from Andrew Mitchell

By PA Mediapoint

The police officer at the centre of the notorious Downing Street "Plebgate" incident has accepted £80,000 damages in settlement of his libel action against former chief whip Andrew Mitchell (pictured, Reuters).

The conclusion of PC Toby Rowland's defamation case against the MP was announced at the High Court in London today.

Last November Mitchell, who vehemently denied using the word "pleb", lost a high-profile action against News Group Newspapers, publishers of The Sun.

A judge then declared he had reached the "firm conclusion" that Mitchell had used the "politically-toxic" word in September 2012 when he was not allowed to cycle through the main Downing Street vehicle gates.

PC Rowland's lawyer, Jeremy Clarke-Williams, told Mr Justice Warby that since that judgment Mitchell "has abandoned the other defences he had raised to my client's claim and consequently terms of settlement have been agreed".

The solicitor added: "The payment of £80,000 damages by Mr Mitchell sets the seal on PC Rowland's vindication, as well as providing compensation for the injury to his reputation and the distress caused to him and his family over many months."

Neither Mitchell nor PC Rowland was in court.

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Clarke-Williams told the judge: "PC Rowland never felt that the events in Downing Street were anything more than a minor incident.

"He was not responsible for the publicity which followed and would have much preferred that the whole matter had never entered the public domain.

"He now simply wishes to be left in peace to continue his police career."

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