Thursday 22 March 2018

McAreavey wins damages over misleading photo

Alan Erwin

THE husband of murdered schoolteacher Michaela McAreavey is to receive a five-figure sum in damages over the newspaper publication of CCTV stills of another couple arguing in their honeymoon hotel.

In a settlement at the High Court in Belfast, a lawyer for the 'Irish Daily Mail' also issued an apology to Mr McAreavey for using the "potentially misleading images".

Mr McAreavey sued over an article which appeared during the trial of two men later acquitted of murdering his wife.

Michaela McAreavey (27) was found strangled in the newlyweds' honeymoon suite at the Legends Hotel in Mauritius in January 2011.

Her husband was in court to hear confirmation of the resolution to his defamation action.

Lawyer Michael Kealey, for Associated Newspapers (Ireland), said: "An article published in the June 15, 2012, edition of the 'Irish Daily Mail' included stills taken from CCTV footage showing what the newspaper described as an 'arguing couple', and which were presented in such a way as to potentially infer that they may have been John McAreavey and his late wife, Michaela.

"In fact, the footage was of a German couple, as has been unequivocally accepted by the authorities in Mauritius."

Mr Kealey said: "The defendant unreservedly apologises to John McAreavey and very much regrets the distress caused by the publication of this material.

Sources close to the case disclosed that a "substantial five-figure sum" is to be paid out in damages.

Outside the court, Mr McAreavey's lawyer said: "Although John is satisfied with this categoric and comprehensive apology before the court this morning, together with the payment of appropriate damages and his legal costs, the article should not have been published in the first place."

Irish Independent

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