Exam date

When's the 2016 exam? Wednesday 8th June, am.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

WIDER LAW: CONTEMPT Mail/Mirror fined (Milly Dowler case))

A good example of how wider law acts as a regulator: both the Mail + Mirror were fined (something the PCC didn't have the power to do, but its successor likely will) £10k each for their reporting on the now-convicted killer of Milly Dowler. Press reportage can be seen to influence jury decisions, so the media are not meant to report on live cases in such a way as to make a fair trial problematic.
As the article notes, there were other recent examples of this: 'In July last year, the Daily Mirror was fined £50,000 and the Sun £18,000 for articles on the arrest of Christopher Jefferies, who was later released without charge, in the Joanna Yates murder case. Vincent Tabak was found guilty of her murder in October 2011.'
This comes in the same month as Frankie Boyle won his libel case against the Mirror (called him a racist), being awarded £50k damages.

Daily Mail and Daily Mirror fined for contempt of court

Newspapers fined £10,000 each over coverage of Levi Bellfield's conviction for the abduction and murder of Milly Dowler
Royal Courts of Justice
The Daily Mail and Daily Mirror have been fined £10,000 each for breaching contempt of court laws. Photograph: Alamy
The Daily Mail and Daily Mirror have been fined £10,000 each, and ordered to pay £25,000 apiece in costs, for breaching contempt of court laws with their coverage of Levi Bellfield's conviction for the abduction and murder of Milly Dowler.
The two newspapers were found guilty of contempt of court in July after two senior judges said their coverage risked serious prejudice to Bellfield's trial.
Sir John Thomas and Mr Justice Tugendhat last week ordered the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror to pay £10,000 each, plus £25,000 apiece in costs.
However, reporting restrictions meant the fines could not be made public until after the verdict in comedian Frankie Boyle's libel trial against the Daily Mirror had been delivered on Monday. Boyle won his case against the Daily Mirror and was awarded more than £50,000 in damages.
The Bellfield articles were published by the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail on the day after his conviction for the murder and abduction of Milly Dowler, while the jury was considering another charge on the attempted kidnapping of Rachel Cowles.
The articles contained background information about Bellfield, which the high court said went far beyond what the jury had been told in court.
The Daily Mirror reported allegations of Bellfield's violent treatment and sexual abuse of his ex-wife and a former partner, and an allegation that he had once boasted of raping a disabled girl.
Sir John Thomas, high court judge and president of the Queen's Bench division, said: "Bearing in mind the amount of costs paid, we can take the course in this case of fining each newspaper at the very bottom end of the scale, namely £10,000 each.
"But for the future the message is clear and the court's observations, we hope, will ensure others exercise the most scrupulous care at the critical time in a case where only some verdicts have been returned and others remain outstanding."
Both the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail expressed surprise and disappointment at the contempt verdict in July.
They questioned whether their coverage had an adverse impact on a jury which had already found Bellfield guilty of two murders.
In July last year, the Daily Mirror was fined £50,000 and the Sun £18,000 for articles on the arrest of Christopher Jefferies, who was later released without charge, in the Joanna Yates murder case. Vincent Tabak was found guilty of her murder in October 2011.

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