NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Nude photo case to be heard in Scotland

Craigievar Castle [Pic: NTS] Image copyright NTS

An English photographer who claims his reputation was damaged in a row over a nude photo shoot in a Scottish castle has been told to fight his £50,000 case north of the border.

Howard Kennedy and his wife Karen took a series of shots at 17th Century Craigievar Castle, near Alford in Aberdeenshire, in 2012.

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) later said it was "unauthorised".

At London's High Court, it was ruled the action should be heard in Scotland.

Mr Kennedy argues he agreed a contract to shoot at the castle with a member of NTS staff and paid £200.

The pictures of model Rachelle Summers came to the attention of Gabriel Forbes-Sempill, the daughter of Lord Sempill who had gifted the castle to NTS in 1963.

Mr Kennedy now claims a statement NTS put out in response to Ms Forbes-Sempill's outcry was libellous.

'Better suited'

He wanted his claim heard at the High Court in London.

At the High Court, Sir David Eady accepted that the £50,000 damages claim had been validly served on the trust at its Edinburgh head office but went on to reject the bid to have the case heard in England.

He said: "Scotland has its own methods of dealing with such matters based on its long experience", adding that a Scottish Sheriff court was "the natural forum" in which the case should be heard.

The legal system north of the border was "more than capable of providing substantial justice in this dispute" and the Scottish courts were "better suited" to dealing with the case.

Given the dispute's "real and substantial connections" to Scotland, he said Mr Kennedy faced an "impossible task" in showing that it would be right to hear the case in England.

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