Whoops. After posting all about Peter Tobin and the Contempt of Court Act, I came into the office this morning only to find this strongly worded warning from the Crown Office which was sent out to all mainstream media over the weekend.
16 November 2007
NOT FOR PUBLICATION OR BROADCAST
GUIDANCE FOR EDITORS
PETER TOBIN – PRESS REPORTING/BROADCASTS
Two previous operational notes have been issued in respect of the disappearance of Vicky Hamilton.
Peter Tobin has now been charged with the murder of Vicky Hamilton and appeared before Linlithgow Sheriff Court on 15 November 2007. Proceedings are clearly active for Contempt of Court purposes. It is therefore a matter of considerable concern that some media outlets have published/ broadcast information that may give rise to a substantial risk of prejudicing future proceedings through reference to Peter Tobin’s character and/or previous convictions and his possible involvement in other crimes. The question of action in respect of the publication or broadcast of that material is under consideration.
Editors are reminded, in the meantime, that ongoing and further publication/ broadcast of this nature may result in proceedings for contempt and are asked to exercise restraint in their coverage of events in Margate or elsewhere in order to ensure that the proceedings in Scotland are not prejudiced.
I wonder what Wikipedia are doing about their rather detailed Tobin entry now? And what is the likelihoods that the BBC will be hunting down and destroying all their archive (and highly prejudicial) material that is freely available on the net?
Like I said in the last post, the Contempt of Court Act is now looking faintly ridiculous at best. At worst it now looks like a blunted piece of legislation that is now good for nothing except hamfistedly punishing newspapers while pretending the electrickery of the interweb doesn’t really exist.
Since this blog has three regular readers, I hope none of you get the call up for jury duty – or I could be up in front of the beak myself given the content of my last post (though that would mean my online diary being classed as a “media outlet”) .
So if you get tapped by the man from the Crown Office, you aint seen me, right?