Yeates landlord sues newspapers for libel

The former landlord of the murdered landscape architect Jo Yeates has reportedly filed lawsuits against a strong of British newspapers for claims of defamation and breach of privacy.

Christopher Jeffries, who was arrested on suspicion of murdering Yeates’ but was later released without charge, is suing a number of publications including the Daily Mail, the Sun, the Daily Star, the Daily Mirror and the Daily Express.

Jeffries, 66, was the subject of intense media scrutiny at the time of his arrest, with many newspapers reporting the story in a less than objective manner. The Guardian’s Roy Greenslades argued at the time that the press coverage of the case and Mr Jefferies involvement in it amounted to character assassination.

Louis Charalambous, who is Mr Jefferies’ legal representative, said in a press release:

“Mr Jefferies is seeking vindication of his reputation for the terrible treatment he received”

It is not known the amount in compensation Mr Jefferies is seeking, but the case may prove to be expensive for the newspapers involved if they lose the case and are not equipped with professional indemnity insurance for libel. Mr Charalambous previously represented Robert Murat, who was awarded £600,000 over “seriously defamatory” allegations printed in newspaper articles in relation to the Madeleine McCann disappearance.

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