A beautician has been paid a “life changing” sum in damages by the publisher of the Mail on Sunday after it featured her in a story about “cosmetic cowboys” and “rogue beauticians”.
Danielle Hindley was featured in a December 2017 article, which relied on a complaint by a former client, despite Trading Standards previously finding for Ms Hindley over the same issue.
A Mail on Sunday reporter posing as a customer visited Dolly’s Nails, Hair and Beauty, which Ms Hindley ran from her home, and secretly filmed her for the article.
The article, under the headline Curse of the Cosmetic Cowboys referred to “dangerous and illegal procedures which can leave women permanently disfigured” and included Ms Hindley as “Case Study 1”.
Ms Hindley, a single mother, complained that the Article led to her becoming a victim of months of online trolling and abuse, and that she was driven to the brink of suicide.
Ms Hindley took a complaint over the accuracy of the coverage to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO).
The regulator found in her favour and obtained a correction, but this was only published on page 8 of the paper, rather than page 2 as had previously been agreed.
Ms Hindley’s case was then taken up by pressure group Hacked Off, and she brought a defamation claim against Associated Newspapers Limited, the newspaper’s publisher.
Her claim was eventually settled by the payment of damages and costs by the publisher, and an apology in the form of the reading of a Statement in Open Court.
“I feel happy but I also feel like I can’t walk away from it just yet because there are still people not being heard,” Ms Hindley said, following the settlement.
In a statement, the Mail on Sunday said: “The article was an important public interest investigation into the beauty and cosmetic treatment industry where unlicensed practitioners continue to offer procedures that are potentially dangerous and can result in women suffer lasting damage or worse.”
“Unfortunately Danielle Hindley was wrongly identified and portrayed in the article.”
“We have apologised to her and paid damages for the distress and loss she has suffered.”
The claim is an example of a “rogues’ gallery” case, where the damage caused by allegations about a particular individual is made worse by their inclusion as one instance of a wider pattern of wrongdoing.