Royal Court of Justice
The celebrity couple took their appeal to the Supreme Court in an attempt to remain anonymousGetty Images

The "well known man" at the centre of a privacy injunction restricting the English and Welsh press from revealing he took part in an extra-marital threesome has won his appeal to keep his identity secret.

The married man, who can only be referred to as PJS, took part a banning order against the Sun on Sunday newspaper to prevent them naming as the individual who had a sexual relationship with a third person, known s AB and, on one occasion, with AB and CD.

Following an appeal, five judges at the Supreme Court ruled in injunction banning the English press form naming PJS will be kept in place. News Group Newspapers (NGN) argued the injection should be lifted as the identity of PJS is "common knowledge" as he had already bene widely named in the US, Canada, Sweden, Australia media – which people in the US could see online – as well as in Scottish press and social media.

PJS's legal team argued the privacy injunction should be kept in place on the basis that revealing their identity would be "devastating" for the children and there is no public interest in ruining the story.

In their ruling, Supreme Court judges Lord Mance, Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Reed agree and Lord Toulson agreed that publishing the story is "contrary to the interests of PJS's children" and in breach of the requirement to "show an exceptional public interest for the intrusion" set out in the Editors' Code of Practice to which NGN has subscribed.

Mance added: "There is not, on its own, any public interest in the legal sense in the disclosure of private sexual encounters even if they involve infidelity or more than one person at the same time, however famous the individuals involved."

Mance admitted that the "widespread availability of the information in the public domain" would mean PJS would face difficulties in being granted a permanent injunction on the basis of confidentiality, but the "likely distress" to PJS and his family if his identity was to be revealed and the "degree of intrusion or harassment, continues to be highly relevant".

He added: "The question is whether the injunction can still serve a useful purpose. It is important to consider the medium and form of the previous publication: There is a qualitative difference in intrusiveness and distress between the disclosures on the internet which have occurred and the media storm which would follow from publication by the English media in hard copy, together with unrestricted internet coverage of the story."

A full trial involving the newspaper and PJS is expected to take place later this year. The Sun On Sunday attempted to justify running the story after arguing that the couple had put "many details" of their relationship in the public domain. The couple have already been successful in getting Google to remove links to international articles in which they were named as part of the privacy injunction.

Mance said: "PJS is likely to establish at trial that the proposed publication by NGN constitutes a serious breach of his and his family's privacy rights, with no countervailing public interest on the present evidence, and that he is likely to be granted a permanent injunction notwithstanding the internet and social media publication. Accordingly, the interim injunction is maintained."