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England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions >> Hamaizia & Anor v The Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis  EWHC 3408 (QB) (21 October 2014)
Cite as:  EWHC 3408 (QB)
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QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
(Sitting as a Judge of the High Court)
| (1) RAFIK HAMAIZIA
(2) AMIR AMIRANI
|- and -
|THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
FOR THE METROPOLIS
David Hirst (instructed by Messrs Weightmans LLP) for the Defendant
Hearing dates: 16 October 2014
Crown Copyright ©
HHJ Richard Parkes QC :
"Three jailed for murder of Marvin Henry
Three final defendants have been jailed for their involvement in the lead up to the murder of teenager Marvin Henry. Sentencing took place at the Old Bailey on Thursday 22 December. Rory Faley 22 of Finchley was sentenced to three years for grievous bodily harm and seven years for full imprisonment to run concurrently. Rafik Hamaizia, 19, of North Hill, Highgate was sentenced to three years for grievous bodily harm and seven years for false imprisonment to run concurrently. Amir Amirani, 21, of Longridge Road Chelsea was sentenced to 30 months for grievous bodily harm and six years for false imprisonment to run concurrently…. At a previous trial heard earlier this year at the Old Bailey, two further men, McPhee and Irvani, were found guilty of the murder of 17-year-old Marvin Henry in Mill Hill. On 17 August 2011, Ithai McPhee, 22 of no fixed address, and Shervin Irvani were both handed life sentences and ordered to serve a minimum of 30 years each - they were found guilty of murder the same day. They were also sentenced to 12 years for false imprisonment and three years for grievous bodily harm to run concurrently. A total of 171.5 years of imprisonment have been handed down to all five individuals involved in Marvin Henry's murder."
i) On 9 October 2010 a friend of Marvin Henry, Jordan Gharib, was held against his will in a North London flat and repeatedly assaulted by a group of youths which included the claimants.
ii) On 27 October 2010 Marvin Henry was shot dead on an estate in Mill Hill, London.
iii) The first claimant was charged with false imprisonment and inflicting grievous bodily harm in relation to Jordan Gharib on 9 October 2010, and with the murder of Marvin Henry on 27 October 2010. Rory Faley, Ithai McPhee and Shervin Irvani were also each charged with the same offences.
iv) The second claimant was charged with false imprisonment and inflicting grievous bodily harm in relation to Jordan Gharib.
v) The prosecution case was that the claimants, with the other three men, took Gharib to a flat in Finchley on 9 October 2010 and held him there against his will. They then handed him his mobile phone and told him to telephone Marvin Henry, whom Irvani described as his enemy. They all seriously assaulted him at the flat in an attempt to force him to call Marvin Henry, the object being to lure him there so that he could be harmed in some way. However, Gharib escaped.
vi) Marvin Henry was murdered on another occasion.
vii) The claimants and the other men, Faley, McPhee and Irvani, were all tried together at the Central Criminal Court by HH Judge Paget QC and a jury.
viii) On the first day of the trial in June 2011, the second claimant pleaded guilty to the charges of false imprisonment and grievous bodily harm, and the first claimant pleaded guilty to false imprisonment.
ix) The first claimant was convicted of grievous bodily harm by the jury, but was acquitted of the murder of Marvin Henry after the jury failed to agree.
x) McPhee and Irvani were convicted of the murder of Marvin Henry (and of false imprisonment and grievous bodily harm), and Rory Faley was convicted of false imprisonment and grievous bodily harm.
xi) The claimants were each sentenced to six years' imprisonment for false imprisonment, and the first claimant was sentenced to three years, and the second claimant to 30 months, for grievous bodily harm. They were sentenced in December 2011, some four months after McPhee and Irvani had received their life sentences for murder, with minimum terms of 30 years.
Principles for ascertainment of meaning
"Libel is concerned with the meaning of words. Everyone outside a court of law recognises that words are imprecise instruments for communicating the thoughts of one man to another. The same words may be understood by one man in a different meaning from that in which they are understood by another and both meanings may be different from that which the author of the words intended to convey. But the notion that the same words should bear different meanings to different men and that more than one meaning should be "right" conflicts with the whole training of a lawyer. Words are the tools of his trade. He uses them to define legal rights and duties. They do not achieve that purpose unless there can be attributed to them a single meaning as the "right" meaning. And so the argument between lawyers as to the meaning of words starts with the unexpressed major premise that any particular combination of words has one meaning which is not necessarily the same as that intended by him who published them or understood by any of those who read them but is capable of ascertainment as being the "right" meaning by the adjudicator to whom the law confides the responsibility of determining it. That is what makes the meaning ascribed to words for the purposes of the tort of libel so artificial."
"(1) The governing principle is reasonableness.
(2) The hypothetical reasonable reader is not naive but he is not unduly suspicious. He can read between the lines. He can read in an implication more readily than a lawyer and may indulge in a certain amount of loose thinking bus he must be treated as being a man who is not avid for scandal and someone who does not, and should not, select one bad meaning where other non-defamatory meanings are available.
(3) Over-elaborate analysis is best avoided.
(4) The intention of the publisher is irrelevant.
(5) The article must be read as a whole, and any "bane and antidote" taken together.
(6) The hypothetical reader is taken to be representative of those who would read the publication in question.
(7) In delimiting the range of permissible defamatory meanings, the court should rule out any meaning which "can only emerge as the produce of some strained, or forced, or utterly unreasonable interpretation"….
(8) It follows that "it is not enough to say that by some person or another the words might be understood in a defamatory sense".
"Whether the text of a newspaper article will, in any particular case, be sufficient to neutralise the defamatory implication of a prominent headline will sometimes be a nicely balanced question for the jury to decide and will depend not only on the nature of the libel which the headline conveys and the language of the text which is relied on to neutralise it but also on the manner in which the whole of the relevant material is set out and presented. But the proposition that the prominent headline, or as here the headlines plus photographs, may found a claim in libel in isolation from its related text, because some readers only read headlines, is to my mind quite unacceptable in the light of the principles discussed above. "