LONDON, July 30 (UPI) — Two British tabloid newspapers have been fined for contempt for their reports on a murder suspect who was acquitted.
A London court fined The Daily Mirror $24,500 and the Sun $29,500 for their reporting earlier this year on Christopher Jefferies, who was a suspect in the 2010 murder of landscape architect Joanna Yeates.
Jefferies, a retired school teacher, was released and all charges were dropped, The Guardian reported.
The ruling against the newspaper said the Sun’s reporting created a “very serious risk” of biasing future prosecution, while The Daily Mirror was chastised for publishing “substantial risks to the course of justice.”
The judges left an option available for the newspapers to appeal the fines, the report said.
Their decision follows an admission by eight national newspapers they had unfairly castigated Jefferies as a killer. He has been paid undisclosed financial damages by the Sun, Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record, Daily Mail, Daily Star, the Scotsman and Daily Express, the report said.