The BBC has apologised in Court to Gregory Bull QC, Counsel at the criminal bar over allegations contained in the programme Dragon’s Eye. They also agreed to pay damages and his legal costs. Mark Thomson represented Gregory Bull QC.
Statement in Open Court
Gregory Bull QC and British Broadcasting Corporation
My Lord, in this libel claim I represent Mr Gregory Bull. Mr Bull is a barrister practising at the criminal bar. He has been a Queen’s Counsel since 2003.
My learned friend Mr Glen appears for the BBC. Dragon’s Eye is a television programme broadcast by the BBC.
On 16 June this year, Dragon’s Eye included an item about the trial in Wales of a defence solicitor and another man for possession of drugs which had been in evidence in a murder trial which had taken place in 2004. The solicitor and the other man had been part of the defence team acting for the defendant in that murder trial. The programme reported that the Attorney-General was being urged to investigate the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service to prosecute them.
The programme reported that Mr Bull, who appeared for the Crown at the murder trial, had accused the defence solicitors of tampering with evidence, planting drugs and seeking to pervert the course of justice and it suggested his conduct had given reasonable grounds to suspect that he had been guilty of professional misconduct.
Mr Bull had raised concerns as to the conduct of the defence solicitors before the trial judge. However, he did so in circumstances where he was duty-bound to do so and at all times he was acting on instructions.
Mr Bull was extremely concerned to find that the Dragon’s Eye broadcast suggested otherwise. Having complained to the BBC about the content of the programme he is pleased that the BBC is here today to put the record straight and to offer him an apology. It has also agreed to pay him a suitable sum by way of damages and his legal costs. He is therefore pleased to be able to put the matter behind him.
My Lord, on behalf of the BBC, I accept all that my learned friend has said.
The BBC and Dragon’s Eye accept that Mr Bull did not act improperly during the trial and that he acted in accordance with his professional obligations and in a proper and reasonable manner throughout. They would like to apologise for the embarrassment which this programme caused him. They are also happy to clarify that Mr Bull was not responsible for the decision to prosecute the defence solicitor and the other man.
My Lord, on that basis the Claimant is pleased that his reputation has been vindicated. It follows that this matter has now been concluded and I now ask for your Lordship’s leave to withdraw the record.
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