Chris Packham wins defamation suit against website that accused him of lying | UK News
Chris Packham has won his defamation suit against a website over allegations he lied in order to persuade people to donate money to a wildlife sanctuary.
The prominent naturalist has successfully sued over nine articles, published on Country Squire magazine’s website, about his involvement with the Wildheart Trust, which runs a wildlife sanctuary on the Isle of Wight.
His claim centered on allegations that he defrauded and ‘manipulated’ people to raise money for the charity by claiming that tigers had been rescued from a circus, despite knowing that they had been donated by the circus and well cared for.
Packham was also accused by the site of dishonestly raising money for the Wildheart Trust at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic despite knowing he was due to receive £500,000 insurance payout.
The court heard that articles on the website described Packham as a fraud, a “notorious liar” and as having an “obvious villain”, and accused him of playing the “Asperger victim card”.
On Thursday, Judge Saini ruled that the offending articles were defamatory, seriously damaging Packham’s reputation. Packham was awarded £90,000 in damages after winning the case against Dominic Wightman, the editor of Country Squire Magazine, and writer Nigel Bean.
His complaint against another contributor, Paul Read, who described himself as a “simple proofreader”, was dismissed.