Contempt of court is a state law in external media regulation. It is the interfering with justice of prejudice a person getting a fair trail. Contempt of court is more at risk when a crime is ‘active’ and less when a crime stops being ‘active’ although, a crime only stops being active when someone is released, after 12 months or the case is thrown out of court. You are also at risk of contempt of court if you write something which creates a ‘substantial risk of serious prejudice’.

Making a suspect look bad in the public eye is a contempt of court. You must make sure not to give descriptions or publish pictures if identity is an issue. You must also not use words like ‘offender’ or ‘thug’ as they all imply guilt.

It is ok to use common ground facts in the public domain, for example career, history, family, hobbies etc.

The newspapers below are an example of contempt of court.

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Both of these covers include images and the name of the alleged, this would be a breach of contempt of court if identity was an issue. They also imply that the alleged spied on a flat couple and was also to blame for the murder. This making him look bad in the public eye and making him seem guilty, without any actual evidence.

Both of these newspapers were later fined for the breach of contempt of court. The Daily mirror, £50.000 and The sun,£18,000.

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