Paul McKenna wins libel case

Hypnotist Paul McKenna has won his High Court libel action against a tabloid newspaper which claimed that he had purchased a fake degree.

The case centred on an article published in the 'Daily Mirror' which claimed that McKenna had bought a bogus degree from La Salle University in Louisiana.

The article, by journalist Victor Lewis-Smith was published in October 2003. In the article, Lewis-Smith said: "I discovered that anyone could be fully doctored by La Salle within months (no previous qualifications needed), just so long as they could answer the following question correctly: 'Do you have $2,615, sir?'.

During the trial, McKenna claimed that he had been 'pilloried' by Lewis-Smith from 1997 onwards and said that he had been made a 'laughing stock'.

However, the newspaper's publishers, who had denied libel and pleaded justification, called evidence from Lewis-Smith's co-writer Paul Sparks, who said that La Salle had informed him that he could obtain a doctorate for that fee within a matter of months and without undertaking any formal course.

Mr Justice Eady, who heard the case without a jury, said that he could not accept the newspaper had discharged the burden of proving that the sting of the words complained of was substantially true.

McKenna, who runs a self-help business with an annual turnover of £2.5 million, was not at London's High Court for the ruling. However, he released a statement saying that he was "delighted" with the verdict.


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

25 March 2010
Stuffed Tiger Seized
Police have seized a stuffed adult tiger from a central London studio which is believed to have been touted for an illegal sale. A 47-year-old man was also arrested after officers became aware of the planned sale of the animal, which was once used by the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen in a photoshoot.
13 August 2012
Sir Elton John To Sue The Times
Sir Elton John will sue the Times newspaper for libel over the publication of articles he claims falsely accused him of tax avoidance. Two articles were published with the by-line “secrets of the tax avoiders’, I which the newspaper stated Patrick McKenna of Ingenious Media was Sir Elton's former accountant. This however was untrue.
26 February 2009
Man Arrested Over McKenna Killing
A 46-year-old man is being questioned by police in relation to an attack which left a man dead and his son seriously injured. Graham McKenna, 45, and his 14-year-old son Michael were stabbed on Upton Road in Claughton, Wirral, Merseyside.
14 May 2010
George Awarded Damages Over 'Obsession'
The man cleared of murdering TV presenter Jill Dando after spending seven years in jail has won damages over newspaper claims. Barry George brought the case over claims that he was obsessed with singer Cheryl Cole and newsreader Kay Burley. The claims were made in the Sunday Mirror, the People and on the Daily Mirror website in 2008.
27 October 2015
70-Year-Old Jailed For Abusing Boys Over Forty Years
A 70-year-old man has been found guilty of a number of sexual offences against young boys over a period of 40 years. Neil McKenna of Barnett's Close, Tunbridge Wells was arrested in November 2013 after police carried out a warrant to search his home address.