Luke Cooper won his libel lawsuit against the Daily Mail and Evening Standard.
As we have written, Cooper, a PhD student, filed the suit over 2010 articles suggesting he was “a ringleader” and pre-planned a riot. During the trial, Cooper said he didn’t participate in the riot’s “planning — or the violence,” the UK Press Association reported. The Evening Standard’s article quoted him as saying:
“The reason we attacked Tory HQ is we want to send a really strong message to this government that we are not going to let higher education be brutalised.”
As we wrote, the Evening Standard’s Benedict Moore-Bridger defended his story from claims he made up part of the quote. The Daily Mail used the Evening Standard’s quotes and both news outlets published an unrelated picture of Cooper “at a social event in a pub.”
According to the Guardian, the two newspapers will have to pay him “£60,000 in libel damages” and “£450,000 in costs.” The two newspapers can’t “repeat the allegations” about Cooper, either. The Guardian noted the importance of Cooper’s libel case:
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“Cooper’s libel action is significant because it is the first to be heard before a high court jury in three years, and is expected to be one of the last.”
The BBC added that because of the two news outlets’ claims, Cooper had to go through “university disciplinary proceedings, which were dismissed.”
Cooper issued a statement about the ruling in which he said it was “an important vindication for me personally” and that his “only wish throughout these proceedings was the public repudiation of the core allegation made against me.”
We have written to the Daily Mail and the Evening Standard asking for comment about the case and if they have to run corrections or apologies. We will update with any response.