In Feb 2013 Peter Reynolds, leader of CLEAR, sued Chris Bovey for defamation for suggesting he was a racist, a homophobe, a bigot and an anti Semite who had reported medicinal users of cannabis to the police.
The matter was bitterly contested and ultimately thrown out of court by Master Eastman on 23/01/14 in the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Reynolds acted as a Litigant in Person, while Bovey hired professional legal representation. A copy of original defence submitted by Chris Bovey’s legal team can be found here https://peter-reynolds-watch.com/files/2014/11/Reynolds-v-Bovey-DEFENCE-FINAL.pdf
A copy of the order of Master Eastman can be found here
A summary by the Chambers and the instructed solicitors
Kevin John Braid also wrote up the story
Reynolds asked for permission to appeal, it was denied by HHJ Holroyde
Here is a copy of the judgement of HHJ Holroyde
and a write up by Kevin John Braid
Reynolds was ordered to pay Bovey’s costs, to be assessed if not agreed, a bill for £25,228.34 was submitted, which Reynolds successfully managed to reduce by around 25% to £20,482.04 – the final order for him to pay was issued in January 2015 giving him 14 days to pay.
He missed the deadline to pay and statutory interest of 8% was added backdated to the date of the original order. High Court Sheriffs were instructed to recover the money, however, Reynolds has been so far successful at evading them, erecting a padlocked gate at his house with a message saying visitors by telephone appointment only, then listing a telephone number that had been disconnected.
Reynolds subsequently made an application to the High Court to have the costs order set aside (see attached file Letter from the High Court) on the grounds he believed the proceedings were still ongoing so therefore the order was not enforceable and secondly that he didn’t receive a covering letter with the bill of costs that was sent to him, so he didn’t know what it was.
His application was again contested by Bovey’s legal solicitors, specialist defamation lawyers, Pinder Reaux https://www.pinderreaux.com/ with the assistance of Counsel, Rogerr Mallalieu, of 4 New Square Chamber, one of the leading costs barristers in England and Wales.
A witness statement by the defendant’s solicitor, John Spyrou and Skeleton Argument by Counsel, Roger Mallalieu is attached.
The hearing was heard by Master Howarth who agreed with the arguments put forward by Counsel for the defendant and it was rejected in its entirety. Essentially the Master agreed with Counsel the costs order was still enforceable and pointed out that the application was made 7 months out of time and in any case there would be little point in granting a stay of the Final Costs Certificate pending an oral hearing, since he would have to get the costs reduced by a further 20% or else they would not be applied and he would be liable to pay the defendant’s costs in contesting the hearing and pointed out the costs had already been looked at by a Senior Costs Officer of the Court with a fine toothcomb and if contested in an oral hearing, the most likely outcome would be the bill would be increased.
The Court ordered summary costs of £6,169.92 to cover the defendants legal costs for contesting the hearing to be paid by Reynolds by 7th July 2015 no later than 4pm. This £6,169.92 is now added to the £25k that Reynolds already owes (including interest and High Court Sheriff Enforcement Officer Fees), which means his debt has increased from £20,482.04 to over £31,000.
In addition to successfully getting the Court to dismiss Reynolds application in its entirety, the Court ordered that Reynolds must attend the same Court in the near future to fully disclose his assets and incomes and also questions from the defendant’s solicitors concerning a Facebook post he made in March 2015, claiming he had carefully rearranged assets to avoid paying if things went wrong with his appeal (which the Court has no record of).
Mr Bovey said, “Mr Reynolds has lost this vexatious lawsuit, he should accept the judgement of the very Court he took me to and pay what he is legally obliged to pay. I never asked to be sued by a looney and I would like my money back.”