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Archer wins record pounds 500,000 libel damages; RETRO REPORT.

JULY 1987 - How we covered...

JEFFREY ARCHER triumphed in his High Court libel action yesterday and hit the jackpot with a record pounds 500,000 damages.

The irrepressible former Conservative Party deputy chairman, who had told the jury, "I made a fool of myself, but I'm no liar", gulped, sat back in his seat and closed his eyes, the relief written on his face, as the jury foreman announced their verdict.

The jury of eight men and four women took four-and-a-quarter hours to decide that Mr Archer was libelled by the report in the Star newspaper that he had sex with vice girl Monica Coughlan and tried to pay her pounds 2,000 to avoid a scandal.

The award was against publishers Express Newspapers and the Star's editor, Lloyd Turner. The Star must also pay the costs of the case, estimated at a total of pounds 700,000.

Mary Archer, who had clasped her hands to steady them as the foreman of the jury got up to speak, covered her face with her right hand and quietly wept as the verdict was given.

It was at 5.06pm, at the end of the 14th day of the trial, that Mr Justice Caulfield came back into court and indicated to the woman associate (court clerk) to ask the jury for their findings.

The associate turned to the foreman of the jury and asked him to stand.

"Mr foreman," she said, "are you agreed upon your verdict?" "We are," he replied.

"Do you find for Jeffrey Archer or the Star newspaper?" she asked. "Mr Jeffrey Archer," he replied firmly.

"What sum do you award?" she asked. "pounds 500,000," came the reply.

Mr Archer's counsel, Mr Robert Alexander, QC, stood and formally asked for judgment in the sum of pounds 500,000.

Edited by Tony Woolway
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jul 25, 2011
Words:304
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