Daily Mail

Packham’s libel win... but HE faces legal bill

- By Chris Pollard

‘He sued the wrong firm’

SPRINGWATC­H star Chris Packham yesterday won £ 30,000 damages from a YouTube channel – but may not see a penny because he sued the wrong company.

The BBC naturalist took legal action against Fieldsport­s Channel, a hunting news outlet which attracts more than a million viewers a month, after it falsely claimed he had forged a death threat against himself.

But his lawsuit targeted the channel’s tiny holding company, which has no money or bank account, rather than its parent firm which makes £400,000 a year from advertisin­g.

It means Packham, 62, could walk away with nothing except a huge legal bill, estimated to be £150,000. It adds to the nearly £1million the broadcaste­r is believed to have spent this year bringing legal claims against other rivals who immediatel­y declared bankruptcy, leaving him to pay the costs.

In 2019, the prominent environmen­talist shared a letter he had received at home which threatened to kill him in a car crash or through poisoning.

It said: ‘We know where you live Packham and we will get you some way or another... we want you dead. We can wait our time... as long as you f****** die that’s all that matters.’

Fieldsport­s Channel later said it had analysed the handwritin­g and found it was similar to Packham’s, claiming he had written the letter himself to get publicity. However, the handwritin­g expert it used was later ‘comprehens­ively discredite­d’.

Packham launched a libel claim against Fieldsport­s Channel Ltd – a small holding company with no assets. The channel’s main firm, Fieldsport­s Television Ltd, is highly profitable. Fieldsport­s Channel yesterday said ‘a basic bit of Googling’ would have revealed he was suing the wrong company.

Packham conceded his legal battles have cost a lot, but insisted he could not put a price on his reputation.

‘Yes, there’s a financial cost,’ he said. ‘But for me, it’s not all about money. It’s about making a difference.

‘This planet faces significan­t problems. I’m 62 years old, I’ve got a limited amount of time to try and stop the declines.

‘I can’t do that from a damaged platform where people are wantonly calling me a liar when I’m not. Justice has been done.’

Despite losing the case, Fieldsport­s founder and presenter Charlie Jacoby said: ‘Imagine our delight when we spotted that Chris was suing the wrong company. He got justice at a tremendous cost.’

 ?? ?? Naturalist: Chris Packham outside court yesterday
Naturalist: Chris Packham outside court yesterday

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