Jury in David Speedie case to consider verdict on Monday

Former footballer claims ‘Sunday World’ defamed him by linking him to criminal figures

David Speedie at the Four Courts. Photograph: Collins

David Speedie at the Four Courts. Photograph: Collins

 

A jury in the High Court defamation action by a former English Premier League footballer will continue to consider their verdict on Monday.

The jury was sent home after four hours and 40 minutes of deliberations on Friday. Mr Justice John Hedigan was told they needed more time. The judge said as they had had a long day, working very hard, it would be a good idea to give themselves a rest and return on Monday to continue their deliberations.

Mr Speedie, who played for Liverpool and Chelsea among other clubs, claims the Sunday World defamed him by linking him to criminal figures in two articles four years ago. The paper denied the claim and said the words in the stories were true.

The first article was on April 10th, 2011 headlined “Kops and Robbers” while the second was published two weeks later in response to a letter from Mr Speedie’s solicitor. The second was headlined “Speedy the Snake” with a photograph of Mr Speedie handling a large snake.

Mr Speedie claims the stories falsely meant he was engaged in criminal activity, was involved in smuggling or transportation of drugs, and had links to gangland crime.

He sued the paper’s publishers, Sunday Newspapers Ltd, editor Colm McGinty, and Mick McCaffrey who wrote the stories.