LIBEL judge Mr Justice Eady has come under unprecedented attack by his fellow judges in the Appeal Court. Three senior judges unanimously overturned his decision to exclude the most crucial evidence in a libel trial and described him as plainly wrong. Lord Justice Hooper went further and on three occasions said that Mr Justice Eadys decision risked a miscarriage of justice. It was a serious blow to the reputa- tion of the High Court judge, who is already under attack for his views on privacy and freedom of the press. Legal experts were stunned by the force of the criticism by the judges and point out that in the course of a trial containing barely four days of evidence Mr Justice Eady was over- ruled twice. He was presiding over the libel action brought by multi-mil- l i o n a i r e R i c h a r d Desmond, owner of Express news-papers, against investigative reporter Tom Bower. After hearing the vital evidence the judge had not wanted them to know about, the jury yesterday found in favour of Mr Bower -- leaving Mr Desmond, who was advised by London media law firm Schillings, with the entire 1.25 million legal bill. The judge had originally ruled inad- missable vital evidence by hedge fund boss Jafar Omid that he had been threatened by Mr Desmond and then libelled in the Sunday Express. Mr Bowers QC Ronald Thwaites appealed and Lord Justices Rix and Wilson ruled that the evidence was relevant. Mr Justice Eady then admitted most of the evidence -- but excluded a tape- recorded phone call in which Mr Desmond told Mr Omid he would be the worst f***ing enemy you will ever have. The judge said that for the tape to be played to the jury the trial would have to be held up while evidence was obtained to put it in context. The second appeal, in front of three judges, provoked the strongly worded criticism. Lord Justice Hooper said: I have no doubt that the judge was wrong to exclude evidence of the telephone call. I would go fur- ther and say that not to allow it would risk a miscarriage of justice. He went on: The absence of that evi- de nc e m i g h t lead to a miscarriage of justice. And to hammer home the point he added: This is not a matter of a case management decision, it is taking steps to ensure that a possible miscarriage of justice does not occur. Lord Justice Pill emphasised that appeals against a judge over evi- dence in the middle of a trial should only rarely succeed and should not be regarded as routine. But he concluded: In this case the decision of Mr Justice Eady was, in context, plainly wrong. Lord Justice Wilson said that the tape was an important adjunct to evidence already given. Friday, 24 July 2009 London Lite Subject to terms and conditions which can be found at www.gatwickairport.com Judge slammed for trying to bar crucial court tapeby GeorGina littlejohn Airfare prices quoted include tax but are intended to be a guide based on actual fares correct as of 23 Jul 09. Prices include taxes. Conditions and restrictions apply. Prices are per person and are subject to limited availability. For full terms see www.roundtheworldexperts.co.uk. Ref: RTWLON49 0844 826 6553www.roundtheworldexperts.co.uk Call our Round the World Experts now on London Hong Kong Ho Chi Minh City Singapore Bali Darwin Sydney Auckland Fiji Los Angeles New York www.flightcentre.co.uk Call 0844 561 9848 If we cant find you a cheaper airfare in the same cabin, youll fly for free! Flight Centre confirms availability by searching based on the exact itinerary, cabin & conditions as per the competitors quote. For full terms & conditions & the distinction between cabin class (first & economy) & booking class, see www.flightcentre.co.uk. up to Book in July for a chance to WIN a 5 holiday to Mauritius for two worth 5000 was 1199 now from 895Prices include taxes. Fly Round the World for under 1000! up to SALE MUST END 31 JULY Holidays & Airfares London Hong Kong (overland) Ho Chi Minh City Singapore (overland) Bali Darwin (overland) Sydney Auckland Fiji Los Angeles (overland) New York London Under fire: Libel Judge Eady Vindicated: investigative journalist Tom Bower index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html