Is the Führer of CLEAR finally finished?
Author: Kevin John Braid
Last January we reported on Peter Reynolds’ failed libel action against businessman and NORML UK activist, Chris Bovey.
Master Roger Eastman put an end to the action following an application by Bovey’s legal team to strike out the claim on procedural grounds.
The Master ruled that the Particulars of Claim brought about by Reynolds were so badly pleaded that the action should be struck out.
He also awarded costs against Reynolds, which PRW has learned has been determined by the Court at £20,482.04.
This figure will rise by thousands if Reynolds doesn’t pay up fast.
After his humiliating loss, in typical Reynolds fashion, he proclaimed he was delighted to have cost Chris so much money and announced he was going to appeal just to cost him even more money. Reynolds himself was acting as a litigant in person, with only with help of his barrister son, Richard Reynolds, so he had no legal costs himself, although he paid in excess of £2,500 in Court fees to bring about this action.
He later boasted on his blog that he had applied for permission to appeal Master Eastman’s judgment and that he had good grounds for optimism. He even had the audacity to claim that it was Chris Bovey who would be paying him a six-figure number.
Reynolds’ appeal claimed the Order striking out his claim breached his rights under articles 6 and 17 of the Human Rights Act 1998. Not surprisingly, the Court of Appeal did not agree with this absurd argument.
Sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice before the Honorable Mr Justice Holroyde on 20th November 2014, Reynolds’ application for permission to appeal was refused.
Simply put, he agreed with the decision of Master Eastman wholeheartedly and considered that Peter Reynolds had no basis to challenge this decision – so he has given Master Eastman a huge rubber stamp and also sanctioned the strategy of Chris Bovey’s legal team to apply to strike out Reynolds’ misconceived claim.
HHJ Holroyde, one of the most senior judges in England and Wales, ruled that “It was a mistake to think that the striking out procedure – which exists in order to ensure that claims with no prospect of success do not proceed, and so do not give rise to an unnecessary and disproportionate expenditure of court time and costs – is inherently contrary to Article 6 of the Human Rights Act.”
HHJ Holroyde’s judgment stated it was impossible to argue that the proper exercise by Master Eastman of the striking out power, following an analysis of the deficiencies in the pleadings, was a breach of Peter Reynolds’ rights under Art 6 of the Convention.
He further ruled in his judgment it was equally impossible to argue that a proper application by the Court of Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) and the rules of pleading was a breach of Peter Reynolds’ rights under Art 17 of the Convention.
In an exclusive interview Chris Bovey told Peter Reynolds Watch: “His appeal was absurd and I’m not surprised the Court of Appeal agreed with Master Eastman. My lawyer had already told me that in his opinion it should be rejected outright, however, it’s good to put an end to this ridiculous farce once and for all.
“Reynolds actually argued it was a breach of his human rights that I employed solicitors and barristers at great expense whereas he was a lowly litigant in person who couldn’t afford legal representation, even though for far less than he spent in Court fees, a simple one hour consultation with a libel lawyer would have told him he didn’t stand a chance.
“He also emailed me specifically telling me to urgently seek advice and then bitterly complains when I do just that.
“It is me who should be outraged, he forced me to spend over £26,000 and wasted countless hours of my time to defend a vexatious lawsuit and although I was awarded costs, you don’t actually get the full amount you spent, so I’m still a few grand out of pocket even after he pays me.”
Given the online trail of racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism and general bigotry left on the Internet by Peter Reynolds it is simply incredible he thought he could successfully sue someone for calling him a racist and a homophobe. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the man’s insane.
Chris has sent us a copy of the defence he was obliged to submit within 6 weeks of the writ being issued by Reynolds. It’s quite an entertaining read and clearly illustrates what a preposterous course of action Reynolds took in suing Chris – a course of action that is going to cost Reynolds over £20k. Schadenfreude springs to mind. Let’s hope this hurts Reynolds’ pocket as much as it hurt me laughing! lol
- Defence Reynolds v Bovey
- Judgment of Master Eastman Reynolds v Bovey
- Judgment of HHJ Holroyde Reynolds v Bovey
- 5RB Media and Entertainment barristers