Keating wins damages from local paper

Law Society presidential candidate David Keating has received “substantial damages” and a front page apology from a local newspaper over comments made by society president Robert Sayer.

As first reported in The Lawyer (7 June), Sayer, during this summer's presidential election campaign, branded Keating “a complete pillock” who “falls asleep in council meetings” – allegations vigorously denied by Keating.

A statement from Keating's lawyer, Martin Mears – himself described by Sayer as a “piece of dogturd” during the campaign – says Sayer repeated and amplified such “defamatory comments” to the Hartlepool Mail, which published them in its 10 June issue.

Mears says such publication caused Keating, a former president of the Hartlepool & District Law Society, “considerable distress”.

Mears says: “Mr Keating is now considering what further steps should be taken to vindicate his reputation.”