Chris Packham was back at London’s High Court on Wednesday and this time gave evidence (Picture: Vuk Valcic/ZUMA Press Wire/Shutterstock)
Chris Packham gave evidence at his libel trial in London on Wednesday and shared an insight into the abuse he’s received due to his views on fox hunting, something he’s campaigned strongly against.
The 61-year-old later said he fears for his and his family’s security and even worries a ‘psychopath might kill him’ when he goes on dog walks.
Packham is suing three men for libel over nine articles which included claims he defrauded and ‘manipulated’ people into donating to a charity to rescue tigers while knowing the animals were well looked after.
The TV star is also accused of dishonestly raising money for the charity at the start of the Covid pandemic while knowing it was due to receive a £500,000 benefit from its insurance.
Dominic Wightman, editor of Country Squire Magazine, is defending the libel claim along with writer Nigel Bean and a third man, Paul Read.
Lawyers for Wightman and Bean said the articles in the claim could be defended as true while Read insists he was not responsible for the publications as he was a ‘mere proofreader’.
Packham is suing three men for libel over nine articles which included claims he defrauded and ‘manipulated’ people into donating to a charity (Picture: Vuk Valcic/ZUMA Press Wire/Shutterstock)
On the second day of the trial at the High Court in London on Wednesday, the BBC Springwatch presenter began his evidence and said he was a ‘victim of a campaign of vile and relentless intimidation’.
In a 50-page witness statement, Packham said his ‘deeply held views’ have attracted criticism from people who shoot and fox hunt and detailed some of the threats he receives.
The environmentalist said his post had been stolen regularly and that ‘random dead animals and human faeces are regularly posted to me’.
‘I have become accustomed to the plethora of dead animals people leave at my home,’ Packham shared.
In a 50-page witness statement, Packham said his ‘deeply held views’ have attracted criticism from people who shoot and fox hunt (Picture: PA)
The BBC Springwatch presenter began his evidence and said he was a ‘victim of a campaign of vile and relentless intimidation’ (Picture: Jo Charlesworth)
Packham added that he believed the ‘defendants’ unsubstantiated claims have misled, agitated and fuelled a vocal and violent conspiratorial fringe who increasingly post threatening and vile material about me and my family’.
He went on: ‘I do go to walk my dogs in the woods and wonder: is today the day that a psychopath fuelled by all this hate turns up and kills me?
‘I genuinely no longer expect to live a long life free from violence and intimidation.
‘Because it may only take the one wrong person to read Country Squire Magazine for things to go horribly wrong.’
Packham denied fraudulently raising money for the charity, adding ‘we weren’t hopeful that we would be insured against Covid-19 closures’.
He continued: ‘The insurance payments… ultimately saved the sanctuary in what was a time of dire need.
‘But to be very clear, if we had not launched the fundraising appeal as rapidly as we did then these payments may have arrived too late to make a difference.’
The trial is due to conclude on May 12, with a decision expected at a later date.
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