Decision is exectly what the public deserves
I remember the Gary Allen case well. Why? Because from a legal point of view, it was a unique attempt to muzzle the Telegraph and prevent you, the public, from knowing that a dangerous offender had moved to the area. I'm not surprised that the case has become part of every journalist's legal training.
The Judge, Mr Justice Coulson, was scathing about Allen's attempt to prevent the Telegraph from both identifying him and reporting that he had moved to the area. It's not often that a High Court Judge describes a case as "untenable", "flawed", and "ill-founded". For regulars at Blundell Park, you might think these are quite gentle criticisms, but when coming from the Royal Courts of Justice, these were strong words indeed!
In fact, the Judge went further, and this is the second reason why the case is so memorable, he made it clear that if the Telegraph made an application for wasted costs against Allen's lawyers, he would hold a separate hearing.
However, the application never went before the Judge, because Allen's barrister agreed to pay the Telegraph's costs, though liability was not admitted.
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Judges are frequently criticised for being aloof and out of touch, but in this case, Mr Justice Coulson demonstrated that he knows what the public rightfully expects: we need to be alerted if dangerous offenders suddenly start living near us. And he recognised that local papers like the Telegraph have a crucial part to play in protecting the public. Long may that continue!