The jury in the phone-hacking trial of Rebekah Brooks and others have been told by the judge to ignore the front cover of the latest Private Eye magazine, which implies Ms Brooks is modelling a witch costume in a Halloween-themed splash.
The jury of nine women and three men was sworn in on day two of the trial and opening statements will begin on Wednesday.
However, events were dominated by the judge’s comments about Private Eye magazine, prompting a number of commentators on Twitter to accuse the satirical title of causing prejudice.
Discussing pre-trial publicity, Mr Justice Saunders told the jury that it was “not just the defendants on trial, British justice is on trial”.
He went on to say that Private Eye had “seen fit” to publish the picture of Rebekah Brooks in its latest edition and said that it was “meant to be satirical” but should be ignored, adding it was a joke “in especially bad taste”.
The cover shows a picture of Ms Brooks on a page decorated with Halloween pumpkins. The headline reads: “Halloween special: Horror witch costume withdrawn from shops”.
The joke is a nod to a recent spate of inappropriate Halloween costumes being pulled from supermarket shelves.
Update: The Attorney General's office has tweeted a short statement in response to the Private Eye cover, indicating that the magazine is not at risk of contempt of court
Private Eye front cover has been brought to our attention, but AG has decided proceedings for a potential contempt of court aren't required
— Attorney General (@AGO_UK) October 29, 2013
You can read The Drum's daily extensive coverage of the trial in full at thedrum.com/phonehackingtrial