Catholic adviser's libel case ends in stalemate

Last updated at 16:38 03 March 2008

Austen Ivereigh

Stalemate: But Austin Ivereigh says he will fight on

A libel case brought by a former adviser to the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England ended in stalemate last night.

Austen Ivereigh, 41, once head of public affairs to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, had taken action over a newspaper article he claimed made him out to be a "hypocrite".

Two former lovers broke down as they told the High Court how he made them pregnant and then drove them to consider abortion through lack of support.

But Mr Ivereigh, a practising Catholic, denied being a hypocrite and said he had been falsely painted as a cad in the 2006 Daily Mail article.

He insisted in the witness box that he had been willing to support both women, and was opposed to abortion.

He also claimed the article cost him his reputation and his £46,000-a-year job.

But yesterday, the two-week trial ended with the jury unable to reach a verdict after four hours of deliberation.

Speaking after the jury was discharged, Mr Ivereigh said: "All I can say is the case will continue until I clear my name."

Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Daily Mail, denied libel, saying the article was true.

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