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Pretty interesting, how does this not happen more often though??
or is it based on something more specific?
Really ballsing it up today.
'substantial risk of serious prejudice', and not many reports do.
Contempt of court was something I studied when I was training to be a journalist, but it rarely comes up as an issue when writing stories because papers usually just stick to what's safe and legal to report.
But apparently the 'skeleton argument' is this:
“Had Mr Jeffries been charged and tried, his distinctive appearance was likely to prompt recall of the publicity. His position as a landlord in the flats was almost certainly bound to figure, bringing naturally to mind the prominent allegations.”
So they seem to be saying that if he were the defendant, it would cause prejudice. Of course they could be concerned that the publicity around Jeffries would taint the case against the actual defendant, Vincent Tabak (but if that's their reasoning it does a discredit to the jurors, as they're effectively saying they think laypeople are too stupid to separate one person from the other in their tiny brains).
I thought he'd basically brought a case of slander against them because they went to town at the time like he was a murderer and he'd done nothing...
But yes, he has also got a libel case pending. Contempt is a criminal matter, while defamation is usually a civil one.
It's interesting. I can see this is about scaring off papers from risking it in future, but I always thought the crux of the matter was about if proceedings were active - before that time, wild specualtion is usually the norm.
I imagine they had some very strong police sources telling them they were certain they'd got their man. Are the police going to be smacked on the wrists too for putting him through all that without a jot of evidence?
I dunno. From memory, cases are active once someone is arrested, and I think the papers only went to town on Jeffries once he'd been arrested - so if he were then charged etc. that would be textbook contempt.
Obviously, like you've said, the complication in this case is that he isn't the defendant. This will probably end up being an interesting test case.
I just would've expected the charges to become redundant once he's bee released without charge.
But I guess you can still be done for driving drunk even if don't do any harm, so...
Now I'll embarrass myself by knowing NOTHING.
From what I can make of it, this is a fucking bizarre case. Both the Sun and Mirror deserve whopping great libel suits for printing a tonne of suggestive stuff about the guy, but a contempt case? Very weird. I've always understand that contempt cases would be bought if we risked causing serious prejudice to court active proceedings. And though active court proceedings are underway, this dude is not the man in the man in the dock, so how can what the papers printed risk swaying a jury? Unless what they printed contain material which sway the case as is, regarding the Dutch guy.
On a more general level, papers should find themselves facing defamation and contempt cases more often. The tabloids especially push the law to its limits, and only quite rarely get punished. I'm betraying my profession there, but sometimes it's just flat out irresponsible and there's no excuse.