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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Goodwin's mistress fails in High Court bid

Goodwin's mistress fails in High Court bid

The mistress of Sir Fred Goodwin yesterday failed to persuade a High Court judge to help keep her identity secret.

Susan Bor the mistress of Sir Fred Goodwin

By Steven Swinford 9:00AM BST 28 May 2011

The woman went to the High Court to complain about a newspaper article which she said “deliberately flouted” an anonymity order.

She asked Mr Justice Tugendhat to refer her complaint to the Attorney General, who would then decide whether to prosecute.

But the judge, sitting in London, announced yesterday that he had declined to make the reference.

John Hemming, the back-bench Liberal Democrat MP, revealed earlier this year in the Commons that Sir Fred Goodwin had obtained a gagging order barring the publication of details about his private life.

Last week Lord Oakeshott, the Liberal Democrat peer, disclosed in the House of Lords that the order related to a sexual relationship with a senior colleague.

In a written judgement, Mr Justice Tugendhat said: “The applicant is a lady with whom Sir Frederick Goodwin is alleged to have had an affair while both were working for RBS, before RBS had to be rescued by public funds some 18 months or so ago."

Giving his decision, he said: "The reason that I decline to make the reference is that, in my judgment, it would not assist the Attorney General.

"The lady is free to refer the matter to the Attorney General herself, and the Attorney General is free to act of his own motion.

"This case has received extensive coverage in many newspapers and other news media and has been the subject of public judgments.

"If the Attorney General does decide to consider this matter, the contents of this judgment will be available to him."

Lawyers for the Daily Mail said there had been no "deliberate intention" to flout or frustrate the court order and argued that a report in the newspaper had not breached it.

The relationship between Mr Goodwin and his senior colleague is being investigated by the Financial Services Authority, the regulator, as part of a report on the collapse of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Sir Fred, nicknamed Fred "the shred" for his management style, presided over the near collapse of the Royal Bank of Scotland, which needed a £20 billion bail-out by the taxpayer.

He left with a pension of £700,000 a year and a lump sum of nearly £3 million. Following a public outcry he later agreed to reduce his payout by £200,000 a year.

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