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Frankie Boyle Wins £50,000 After Daily Mirror Libel

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FRANKIE BOYLE
Jurors ruled the racist description was defamatory | PA

Comedian Frankie Boyle has won more than £50,000 damages after a jury ruled he had been libelled by the Daily Mirror.

Boyle, 40, from Glasgow, claimed that the Daily Mirror defamed him by describing him as racist.

Daily Mirror publisher Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) defended the article, published on July 19 2011.

MGN said the "racist" description was either true or "honest comment on a matter of public interest".

Jurors ruled today in favour of Mr Boyle.

Jurors awarded Mr Boyle £50,400 after concluding that the racist description was defamatory.

Mr Boyle had denied "punctuating" material with racist references or making "gratuitous" use of black people, during a trial in London.

He told the High Court that characters he played might express racist views, but he did not.

Mr Boyle said he actively campaigned against racism and parodied racists - and claimed that the Daily Mirror had "misunderstood" the context of his use of language in jokes.

MGN lawyers said Mr Boyle was a "racist comedian" who gratuitously exploited negative stereotypes of black people for "cheap laughs".

A barrister representing MGN had told the jury that Mr Boyle was "callous" and "insensitive".

Ronald Thwaites QC said jurors should not find in the comedian's favour.

And he said if jurors thought that Mr Boyle had been libelled they should show their "contempt" by awarding damages of 45p - the price of a copy of the Daily Mirror.

The jury have yet to reach a verdict on a second issue - relating to a Daily Mirror report that Mr Boyle had been "forced to quit" BBC panel show Mock The Week.

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