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Mirror and Sun facing contempt charges in Joanna Yeates case


By The Drum Team | Editorial

May 12, 2011 | 2 min read

Two of Britain’s biggest tabloids, The Mirror and Sun, are facing contempt charges as well as being sued for libel by a landlord who was falsely claimed to be the killer of Joanna Yeates.

Attorney general Dominic Grieve announced he was taking court action against the papers after deciding their coverage of the affair risked prejudicing the outcome of any trial.

Chris Jefferies, Yeates’ landlord, was initially arrested by police on suspicion of the landscape architects murder, but was released without charge following the arrest architect Vincent Tabak – the real killer.

Media coverage of Jefferies at the time was substantial with speculation rife on websites such as Twitter.

At the time Grieve warned both titles not to publish “irrelevant” or “improper” material that could “prejudice the possibility of a fair trial taking place at a later date.”

If found guilty the papers face fines and even possible jail terms for individual members of staff.

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