DI directors fined £1000 for contempt

Bad day in court for the Daily Ireland. The Irish News carried a story yesterday on the paper’s contempt of court when it published a story containing “prejudicial material” relating to a particular defendant in a trial due to take place that same day in Belfast. The judge levied a fine of £1000 each on two directors and DI’s editor.

Mr Justice Weatherup said that on the morning two men were due to stand trial before a jury Daily Ireland published “prejudicial material”. The article was later repeated in the Andersonstown News. The judge said this led to a defence application to halt proceedings on the basis that the defendants could not get a fair trial.

In the event the trial judge held there was a potential to prejudice a jury but decided against a ‘stay’ and instead switched the trial to another area on a later date. The court heard that the defendants had apologised and indicated steps had been taken to ensure there was no repetition.

“It is clear the journalist who prepared the article was not as well versed in matters relating to contempt of court as he should have been and the checking system also failed,” the judge said. It is believed to be one of the first times in Northern Ireland that the editor of a daily newspaper has been fined for contempt.

The group has a bid launched with courts demanding £3 million compensation because the UK government has refused to advertise with them.

  • Shore Road Resident

    What was the case?

  • Pete Baker

    That would be a very good question, SRR.. any indication of those particular details, Mick?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Must admit I’m curious, but if the case is still live, I don’t think Mick has a grand to splash out for the sake of my nosiness!

  • Keith M

    These are people that can throw hundreds of thousands of pounds away on a white elephant like DI. For them £1000 is probably loose change, but it re-enforces the point on why taxpayers money shouldn’t be wasted on advertising on such a rag.

  • Pete Baker

    Well, Gonzo, I have more faith in Mick’s ability not to be prejudicial.. ;p

  • Shore Road Resident

    I’d imagine that anyone half-competent in the art of journalism could manage to name the case without prejudicing the trial.

  • D’Oracle

    classic schadenfreude!

  • The Dubliner

    “Well, Gonzo, I have more faith in Mick’s ability not to be prejudicial.. ” – Pete Baker

    I congratulate you on that faith, since Mick just deliberately ran two separate and wholly unrelated court cases involving DI in conjunction so that one would be prejudicial to the other.

    Is the sun blue in your parallel universe?

  • reality check

    keith m-your assertion that the daily ireland is a rag can be justified in what way?

  • Shore Road Resident

    And the case was?

  • Yokel

    Poor business strategy and now poor journalism and why is it still called the Daily Ireland? It’s such a Northern focus that it fails to represent any news south of the border in comparison.

  • Mick Fealty

    TD:

    “…so that one would be prejudicial to the other”.

    Let’s be clear, Slugger is not breaking this news Dub, so I cannot see the sense in your suggestion.

    Pete and Gonzo:

    I happen to know which case is being refered to because I saw the DI story on the day it went out.

    For legal reasons we were constrained from reporting it. I’m not sure that has changed.

  • Shore Road Resident

    You’re not constrained from identifying the case, Mick.
    You just don’t have to repeat any details.
    If you’re feeling nervous, perhaps you could identify the case then lock this thread?