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  1. Media Law
March 20, 2017

Woman who painted Kensington house with red-stripes wins £54k libel damages from Daily Mail

By PA Media Lawyer

The businesswoman who painted her Kensington townhouse in red and white stripes has won £54,000 libel damages over allegations that she mistreated her late husband’s son and his family over inheritance claims.

Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring had sued Associated Newspapers over two articles which appeared in April 2015.

They wrongly repeated allegations made by Robert Lisle, her late husband’s son, and his second wife, Sally, that Lisle-Mainwaring unreasonably denied them money that they claimed had been promised to them and was properly due to them.

Lisle-Mainwaring accepted a qualified offer to make amends and the compensation was assessed by Judge Richard Parkes QC.

The judge said at the High Court on Friday said that the least sum necessary to compensate her for the injury to her reputation and for the distress she had suffered was £90,000.

That sum was discounted by 40 per cent to take account of the offer of amends.

Lisle-Mainwaring was giving the damages to charity.

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Judge Parkes said the two articles were widely published, the second much more widely than the first because it was not only on Mail Online but in the Daily Mail, and would have been seen by millions of readers.

The allegations were “hurtful and unpleasant”, he added.

“They suggest, wholly falsely, that the claimant behaved most unpleasantly to the family of her late husband and that she has betrayed his trust.

“They go directly to the claimant’s personal honour and integrity, and impugn the central characteristics of her personality – the kind of person that at heart she is.”

The second article also raised a further matter which Ms Lisle-Mainwaring preferred to regard as private, and was not disclosed in the judge’s public ruling, other than that it involved a serious allegation of wrongdoing which Associated had not sought to justify.

The judge said he accepted that Lisle-Mainwaring had suffered substantial personal distress as a result of the publication of the libels.

That said, they were not the gravest of allegations and there was never any suggestion they were true.

He also took account of the fact that Lisle-Mainwaring had already recovered damages from Robert and Sally Lisle in respect of words which were substantially, but not wholly, to the same effect as those complained of.

Picture: Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

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