[GA1 of 3] Gordon Anglesea v Newspaper Publishing PLC and Others, 22 Nov 1994 Supreme Court

This is the first of three applications or appeals in which Anglesea is mentioned.

This was an Emergency Application for leave to appeal by Anglesea against a ruling by J Drake which was dismissed, in a Libel case brought by Anglesea agaisnt several media outlets.

It will be interesting to see if there are any repercussions and legal action to get the money back from Anglesea which he eventually received after succeeding in his libel case. The individual participants are mentined in the third post.


Some reports have had victims names redacted and some assault details redacted.

This is a difficult balance –  normally I would think that  I should not “censor” details but on consultation with various people I have taken the decision to redact. This is mainly to protect victims, their friends and relatives from unnecessary detail and to stop the gratification of those who seek salacious details.

In addition to the obvious “victims redaction” to protect victims details, there may also be “assault redacted” across most of the spectrum of abuse. The assaults are left in the charges, but mainly redacted when repeated with reference to the individual. I have also redacted unnecessary detail of assaults.

Redaction may obscure sometimes the legal reason for the appeal, but should make no large difference to the vital information for researchers that these documents contain. That vital information is mainly names of the perpetrators, past addresses, institutions where assaults occurred, the actual charges the perpetrators faced, and dates – on which newspapers are pathetically inaccurate and this information enables the links between people and places and abuse at various times to be ascertained.

Some transcripts may have been subject to automatic reading software and whilst effort has been made to correct these, the text should not be regarded as definitive.

If you think that the balance is not correct or that a particular redaction needs reconsideration, please say.

This particular post is unredacted.

Index of Newspaper and Journal articles on this blog [1]

Index of Court Appeals on this blog [2]

[1994] EWCA Civ J1122-3


(Mr. Justice Drake)

No. QBCOF/92/0723D

Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London, WC2A 2LL.

Tuesday 22nd November 1994.

Before: The Master of the Rolls (Sir Thomas Bingham) Lord Justice Mann and Lord Justice Saville

Gordon Anglesea


Newspaper Publishing PLC & Others

MR. A. CALDECOTT Q.C. (instructed by Messrs. Russell, Jones & Walker, London WC1) appeared on behalf of the Plaintiff (Respondent).

MR. M. BARCA (instructed by Messrs. Lovell White Durrant, London EC1A) appeared on behalf of the Defendants (Appellants).

(Computer Aided Transcription by John Larking., Chancery House, Chancery Lane, London WC2. Telephone No. 071 404 7464. Official Shorthand Writers to the Court.)


(As approved)

Tuesday 22nd November 1994.

THE MASTER OF THE ROLLS: This is an application for leave to appeal against a ruling by Drake J given yesterday in the course of a continuing trial. It is mounted as an emergency application given that the trial is, as I say, continuing and accordingly the court has accommodated the application at very short notice.

The action which is before the Judge and jury is a libel action in which the plaintiff is a former police officer who served in North Wales. There are four defendants, all of them publishers of newspapers or magazines. Although the published material naturally varies from newspaper to newspaper the effect of it all, and the sting of which the plaintiff complains, is that they all accuse him of having visited a children’s home in North Wales and there committed various acts of sexual abuse against a number of boys in the home.

The grounds upon which the plaintiff complains about those publications are obvious. The defendants have pleaded justification and have given substantial particulars of the incidents upon which they rely to substantiate their publications. Among the particulars are details of acts of abuse alleged to have been committed against three former children in the home who have been known in the action as A, B and C, it being obviously undesirable that their identity should be made public. There is a direct conflict between the evidence given by the plaintiff, who denies that any incidents of this sort occurred, and the evidence of A, B, and C, all of whom say that the incidents did occur and that the plaintiff was party to them.

It is perhaps worthy of observation to note that this is a matter of very great importance to a number of parties. First of all, it is of obvious importance to the plaintiff, as a retired police officer, whose reputation is, in the most extreme sense, on the line. It is of importance to the various defendants since if the complaint were to be established the damages could be very large. It is also of obvious importance to A, B, and C who, again, stand to lose their reputations for reliability and honesty should the plaintiff’s complaint succeed. Certainly the details which we have had of B show that he has had a difficult and troubled childhood and adolescence which, to a large extent, he appears to have survived, but the outcome of this trial could obviously have an important bearing upon his personal health and self-regard.

The immediate ground which gives rise to this application is as follows. A matter of some days ago the plaintiff served a subpoena on B, requiring him to produce all medical and/or psychiatric records and reports concerning him, which have been generated while he was in council care, and all medical and/or psychiatric records and reports concerning him which were generated after he left council care and up to the date of the subpoena. That subpoena having been served, an application was made to Drake J, who was the trial Judge, to set it aside. Having heard argument he declined to do so. The grounds upon which it was sought to set aside the subpoena were that it was a fishing exercise; that it was too wide; that it related to a lot of material which had no relevance to the action and that, at best, the plaintiff was fishing for material with which to attack the credit of B. In support of the subpoena it was argued that the material could well bear directly on the issues which the jury had to decide and be of considerable significance in deciding where the truth lay. The learned Judge concluded, and I quote from page 26 at C of yesterday’s transcript, that these documents did go to an issue in the case. He said:

“I think the medical background of each of the alleged victims is clearly of very great importance. It does not merely go to credit as such. The psychiatric background is a matter which may well explain – it could explain – how it comes that these allegations are made. It may disclose nothing of the sort. But it seems to me to be a relevant matter and, I would have thought, also relevant on the basis of inconsistent previous statements. The medical records will, almost beyond doubt, contain statements, and those statements, either by their express nature or by their complete absence, may be inconsistent with the case now put forward.”

The learned Judge refused leave to appeal against his decision, but application for leave is now made.

In a sense this application is academic since it appears that witness B has no means of procuring the production of the records generated during his time in care and has certainly not, whether he could have done so or not, arrived at court with his medical records relating to the period since he left the care of the council.

It is put to us that this is one of a number of subpoenas, that other subpoenas are likely to be issued to local authorities, and that accordingly the question is not academic, but has a wider importance.

Speaking for myself I fully recognise the extreme undesirability of confidential records, with no bearing on the issues in a case, being made available for purposes of irrelevant cross-examination. On the other hand, it would seem to me at least possible that the records, which are the subject of this subpoena, could contain material directly relevant to the issues in the case, such that the jury’s ability to do justice might be seriously undermined if this material were not available.

It seems to me, and counsel for the plaintiff at least does not resist this, albeit counsel for B resists it (although less strongly than the course which he understood to be proposed) that the most satisfactory course is, if documents of this kind are produced in response to the subpoena they should be made available, not to the plaintiff or to the other parties in the first instance, but to the Judge. He is presiding over this trial, will have an acute understanding of the issues, and he will be in the best possible position to judge whether there is any, and if so what, material in any such documents which does relate to issues proper for the jury to consider. Matters will not be admissible if they relate to what may be called mere credit, and certainly not if they are materials relating to questions of credit irrelevant to the issues in these proceedings, but material relating directly to the issues in these proceedings, and credit in so far as it is directly involved in these specific allegations, would seem to me to be at least capable of falling into a different category. I would, therefore, refuse leave to appeal and leave the matter to the judgment of the very experienced Judge who is trying this case. He, having considered the documents, will be able to rule whether there is any material which in justice ought to be admitted bearing always in mind that these are confidential documents and that in the case of doubt confidentiality should be preserved. For these reasons I would refuse leave to appeal against the learned Judge’s decision.



Order: Application dismissed.

Other relevant posts

2016 Oct 21 Cathy Fox Blog [GA 2 of 3] Simon Regan v Thomas David Barton Taylor 29 Apr 1999 High Court [4]

2016 Oct 21 Cathy Fox Blog [GA 3 of 3] Simon Regan v Thomas David Barton Taylor 9 Mar 2000 Supreme Court of Judicature [5] 

Index of Newspaper and Journal articles on this blog [1]

Index of Court Appeals on this blog [2]

Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. These links are generally UK based.

  • The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.
  • National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups.
  • Other useful sites are One in Four [C]
  • and Havoca [D].
  • Useful post on Triggers [E]  from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog.
  • Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G]  and Meditation [H] may be useful.
  • Hwaairfan blog An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma  [J]
  • Survivors UK for victims and survivors of male rape or the sexual abuse of men [K]
  • Voicing CSA group [L] helps arrange survivors meetings in your area


[1] Index of Newspaper and Journal articles on this blog https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/newspaper-stories-index-timeline/

[2] Index of Court Appeals EWCA on this blog https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/a-timeline-of-court-and-ewca-documentation-on-cathy-fox-blog/

[3] 2016 Oct 21 Cathy Fox Blog [GA1 of 3] Gordon Anglesea v Newspaper Publishing PLC and Others, 22 Nov 1994 Supreme Court https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/ga1-of-3-gordon-anglesea-v-newspaper-publishing-plc-and-others-22-nov-1994-supreme-court/

[4] 2016 Oct 21 Cathy Fox Blog [GA 2 of 3] Simon Regan v Thomas David Barton Taylor 29 Apr 1999 High Court https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/ga2-of-3-simon-regan-v-thomas-david-barton-taylor-29-apr-1999-high-court/

[5] 2016 Oct 21 Cathy Fox Blog [GA 3 of 3] Simon Regan v Thomas David Barton Taylor 9 Mar 2000 Supreme Court of Judicature https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/ga3-of-3-simon-regan-v-thomas-david-barton-taylor-9-mar-2000-supreme-court-of-judicature/

[6] 1994 Scallywag 22 LORD McALPINE AND THE PAEDOPHILE RING via 2012 Nov 15 Justice Denied SCALLYWAG MAGAZINE ARTICLE LORD MCALPINE AND THE PAEDOPHILE RING http://google-law.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/scallywag-article-lord-mcalpine-and.html


[A] Sanctuary for the Abused http://abusesanctuary.blogspot.co.uk/2006/07/for-survivors-coping-with-triggers-if.html

About cathy fox blog on Child Abuse

the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free...
This entry was posted in Bryn Alyn, cathyfoxblog, Child Abuse, Child sexual abuse, Childrens home, Court, Criminal Cabal of People in Power, Judges Remarks, Justice System, Police, Wales and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to [GA1 of 3] Gordon Anglesea v Newspaper Publishing PLC and Others, 22 Nov 1994 Supreme Court

  1. Pingback: [GA2 of 3] Simon Regan v Thomas David Barton Taylor 29 Apr 1999 High Court | cathy fox blog

  2. Pingback: [GA3 of 3] Simon Regan v Thomas David Barton Taylor 9 Mar 2000 Supreme Court of Judicature | cathy fox blog

  3. Pingback: An Index and Timeline of Court & Court of Appeal Documents on Cathy Fox Blog | cathy fox blog

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