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England player wins 'gagging order'

An England footballer has won a continuation of a High Court gagging order preventing the "misuse" of private information about him.

The ruling was made by Mr Justice Kenneth Parker, sitting in London.

An injunction was originally granted by a different judge to the unnamed star on August 19, blocking publication of allegations about his private life. The move came shortly after another England international star was granted a similar court order. Neither of the footballers can be named under the terms of the orders.

The latest decision means the injunction granted on August 19 continues until trial of the action or further order.

The case - listed in the anonymised form of ZXC v BNM - was heard in private, but lawyers confirmed afterwards that the order had been continued by the judge.

Before the proceedings went into private session, Hugh Tomlinson QC, for the footballer, told the judge that an injunction was granted on August 19 "to prevent the misuse of private information". He stressed that it was not a super-injunction.

Mr Tomlinson added: "It is an injunction which does not seek to conceal its own identity, but seeks to conceal the identity of the claimant and the defendant because it is an injunction which relates to private information."

The QC then applied for the hearing to be held in private.

Mr Tomlinson told the judge that publicity would "defeat the object of the hearing" as the case involved confidential information - confidentiality would be "damaged" if the proceedings were held in open court. Granting that application, the judge said he had considered the matter and had decided it was "an appropriate case to be heard in private".

Concern has been mounting about the use of injunctions to stop the reporting of potentially embarrassing revelations. Chelsea football captain John Terry was granted an injunction - later overturned - preventing reporting of information about his alleged affair with Vanessa Perroncel, the former partner of his England team-mate Wayne Bridge.


From Belfast Telegraph