I listened with interest to BBC Radio 4’s The Today Programme last week which featured an interview with Mr Christopher Jefferies the man falsely accused of the murder of Jo Yeates. The landscape gardener was found dead on Christmas Day 2010 and Mr. Jefferies her landlord was interviewed at length on the programme about how he is trying to move on with his life after the investigation.
He spoke about the the invasive reporting of the case and ‘trial’ by media which effectively cost him a year of his life. One can only imagine how difficult it must have been for My Jefferies to have had reporters and paparazzi tracking his every move and printing lurid stories about his private life branding him a ‘freak’ and ‘peeping Tom’ and linking him falsely to paedophile crimes and unsolved murders.
‘No Way’ Could Jefferies Have Brought Case Without No Win No Fee
Mr. Jefferies was able to claim for rightful libel damages from a plethora of newspapers who had besmirched his reputation doing so under a conditional fee or ‘no win no fee’ agreement. He spoke out against government plans to reform this system and stated on the programme that without a conditional fee agreement there would have been ‘no way’ he could have pursued justice. Simply put he would have been exposed to too huge financial risk to sue the newspapers.
No Win No Fee Agreement Key Tool For Securing Justice
Mr. Jefferies appreciates that his case was exceptional so great was the media spotlight on the Jo Yeates case. Yet he has joined the campaign against these government reforms and makes some valid points on how access to justice through conditional fee agreements must be preserved for all. You can listen to the interview again here or read a transcript here.