The report was pure fiction.
Two days later, Bill returned to his newsagent and demanded his money back under the Sale of Goods Act which insists that all items purchased must truthfully do what they claim. When the newsagent was unwise enough to refuse to refund Bill's money, Bill engaged a solicitor to pursue a case in the courts – against the newsagent, the newspaper itself and even the reporter personally.
The newsagent and reporter settled quickly. But the newspaper proprietors, afraid of creating a precedent, fought Bill and lost, costing them just £100.00 in damages but enormous sum in legal fees. They appealed, and when that appeal failed, appealed to a higher court still. Other readers and civil rights groups funded Bill's legal costs until seven years later the case finally came to a standstill when the newspaper declared itself bankrupt. The newspaper survived only because ownership passed by agreement into Bill's hands.
On 31st March 2014, Bill Adbury attended the editorial meeting for his new newspaper's launch the following day. Determined to set new standards in journalism from the outset, he instructed that his new acquisition's first headline should read "Scientists Prove Earth Is Flat."