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Judge prevents claim that ‘Manchester bombing didn’t happen’ from being used as a defence against survivors’ harassment case for damages

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Dr Neil Hudgell

Executive Chairman

4 min read time

A High Court Judge today blocked a man from claiming the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing didn’t happen as part of his defence to a legal claim brought against him – labelling his conspiracy theories as ‘preposterous’, ‘absurd’ and ‘fantastical’.

Hudgell Solicitors represent survivor Martin Hibbert in a civil claim for harassment, misuse of private information and data protection breaches, seeking damages and an injunction against Richard D Hall – a man who has publicly claimed the bombing never happened, and that people have since faked injuries.

Mr Hibbert was left paralysed from the waist down as he protected his daughter, who was also seriously injured from the blast.

Mr Hall had outlined his intention to defend the legal case against him by Mr Hibbert by claiming the Arena bombing had not happened at all, that Mr Hibbert and his daughter Eve had not attended, and that their injuries were entirely unrelated.

Hearing told Hall had ‘no prospect of succeeding’

Issuing a Summary Judgment on the matters at the Royal Courts of Justice today, Master Davison ruled that Mr Hall had no real prospect of succeeding on any of his claims in his defence to the action, and that there was no other compelling reason to allow his claims to become the subject of debate at a future civil trial.

In reference to Hall’s claim that the bombing had not happened at all, Master Davison said: “It falls to the defendant to prove the contrary, which is a burden I find he has no “real prospect” of discharging.

Although his beliefs may be genuinely held, his theory that the Manchester bombing was an operation staged by government agencies in which no one was genuinely killed or injured is absurd and fantastical.

The Judge added that CCTV footage, witness statements, and medical records ‘more than satisfies the burden’ for proving Martin and Eve’s presence at the Arena on the night, and the injuries they suffered as a result, describing Hall’s claims this was not the case to be ‘preposterous and untenable.’

“He has no real prospect, indeed no prospect at all, of success,” said the Judge.

The case will now be set down for a further directions hearing ahead of a final trial.

‘He went way too far with his repugnant and offensive views’

Mr Hibbert said: “I am pleased by the Court’s sensible ruling today.  I believe everyone is entitled to an opinion, however, there comes a point where the line is crossed and action has to be taken.

Hall’s views on what happened at the Arena are repugnant and offensive to those who suffered so badly that evening. When he started to approach my daughter and her home as part of these fanciful investigations he went way too far.

It is unacceptable to bring anxiety and distress to us in this way and a stand had to be taken. I am pleased that a Court saw through his ridiculous assertions.

Neil Hudgell, of Hudgell Solicitors, said: “As lawyers, we believe in freedom of expression. That has to be tempered in circumstances where those views are so outlandish as to be an affront to ordinary decency.

We have such an example here. Martin and his daughter suffered horrendous life-changing injuries at the Manchester Arena. There can be no question of the authenticity of either of them.

They face daily challenges in going about their lives and should not have to deal with such malicious and unfounded allegations. We are privileged to stand alongside Martin who has made a stance on behalf of all the victims to ensure conspiracy theorists such as Hall are shut down from spreading their poison.

Dedicated Manchester Arena legal team

Hudgell Solicitors has a dedicated team of specialist lawyers working on compensation claims for injured survivors of the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing.

Our team is fully committed to securing damages for physical and psychological injuries, to recover loss of earnings and cover the costs of ongoing treatment, rehabilitation and care.

Read more: Manchester Arena Bombing Claims

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