Camelot has attempted to block Marketing Week’s distribution on news-stands and to recover the leaked document which sparked last week’s National Lottery “fat cats” storm.
The UK Lottery operator initially succeeded in obtaining an injunction on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 28, restraining MW from distributing “confidential information” belonging to Camelot and ordering the document to be returned.
The injunction was subsequently overturned after lawyers acting for MW interceded. While the judge acknowledged the document was confidential and entitled to protection, he also accepted “the bird had flown” and that there was no point in restraining information in the public domain.
The document has not been returned, but Camelot persists in attempts to obtain it, which MW is resisting. The legal tussle could raise an interesting point of law. A judge may have to balance the rights of private property owners against those of a source of information, which is entitled to anonymity under the Contempt of Court Act 1981.
In 1989 William Godwin, a trainee journalist on The Engineer magazine, was fined 5,000 for refusing to hand over details of the informant who leaked company bank accounts to him.