Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 16:52 UK

Orde wins damages in libel case

Sir Hugh Orde
Sir Hugh Orde sued the Sunday World over false claims about PSNI expenses

Sir Hugh Orde is to receive libel damages over false newspaper allegations that he spent public money to fly his son to the United States.

The former PSNI chief constable sued the Sunday World over an article it published in May 2007.

Lawyers for the paper's publishers also issued an apology to Sir Hugh at the High Court in Belfast.

Northern editor of the Sunday World Jim McDowell said: "The matter was resolved to the satisfaction of both parties."

He added: "The amount of damages was a modest five figure sum that was agreed by both sides."

The Sunday World erroneously claimed that Sir Hugh used PSNI funds to take his son with him when he travelled to the US to attend St Patrick's Day functions in Washington.

Sir Hugh's lawyer Paul Tweed said his client was "extremely disappointed and frustrated that it has taken more than two years for the Sunday World to apologise for allegations that should never have been published in the first place".

"Not only was the journalist told on two occasions prior to publication that the allegations were completely without foundation, but the journalist concerned was himself in the USA reporting on our client's trip and ought to have been well aware that our client's son had not even travelled with him," he added.

As part of the settlement, which also included Sir Hugh's legal costs, a barrister acting for Sunday Newspapers Ltd apologised for "any upset and embarrassment" caused by the article.

"The defendant, Sunday Newspapers Ltd, acknowledges that there was absolutely no dishonesty or impropriety on the part of Sir Hugh Orde in relation to any aspect of his expenses in his position as Chief Constable of PSNI.

Sir Hugh, who left the Police Service of Northern Ireland last month to become president of the Association of Chief Police Officers was said by his lawyer to be very satisfied with the "complete and categoric vindication of his reputation".



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