South West Wales

Dylan Thomas photographs: Libel case against woman, 93, dismissed

Thomas and his wife Caitlin - a photo taken nine years after their wedding Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Thomas and his wife Caitlin - a different photo taken nine years after their wedding

A libel action against a 93-year-old woman who called a company director a "bad man" after he bought Dylan Thomas photos from her has been dismissed.

Haydn Price pursued damages for defamation against Gwen Watkins, from Swansea, after she wrote a letter saying he had "blackened my otherwise serene old age".

But Judge Raymond Groarke told Dublin's Circuit Court there was no proof the letter had been published.

Mr Price was ordered to pay costs.

In the letter to an American publisher who Mr Price was pursuing for copyright infringement over the use of a Dylan Thomas picture, Mrs Watkins said Mr Price had "plotted" to visit her after learning she was deaf and partially sighted.

She added he had visited her and "stayed for seven hours", returning the following day to offer £1,000 for the copyright of several of the photographs.

Summing up, Judge Groarke said: "I am not going to go so far as to say Mr Price took advantage of Mrs Watkins but he certainly should have been a lot more careful with the way he dealt with an elderly person."

The images of the writer and his wife Caitlin were taken by Mrs Watkins' husband Vernon, who died in 1967 and were sold to Mr Price, director of Pablo Star Ltd, in 2011.

Pablo Star - which has offices registered in London and Dublin - has taken action against a number of companies in the UK and abroad, claiming copyright breaches.

One photo Mr Price bought from Mrs Watkins is entitled Just Married and features Thomas and Caitlin shortly after their wedding in 1937.

Another is labelled Pennard and shows the couple playing croquet.

Image copyright Getty Images