BBC: 18 years of screeching ‘racist murder’ can’t prejudice a jury, but one Tweet can?
Laughable hypocrisy from the BBC today, in a lather over Joey Barton (apparently he is a footballer) tweeting that John Terry (yes, another footballer) should have admitted that he called Rio Ferdinand (yes) a ‘fucking black cunt’. The issue is controversial because Terry faces trial for this. Leave aside the foul injustice of facing a criminal charge for calling people names, and focus instead on what Barton is meant to have done: assumed Terry’s guilt, and published that, potentially influencing a future jury.
What then, of the BBC building every report on the recent Lawrence trial around the ‘racist murder’ of ‘black teenager’ Stephen Lawrence, and reminding us, and the jury, that the men on trial had been accused and named as the killers many times before? Might this not be a teeeeeeeeensy bit prejudicial? When motive was a key issue – or should have been – does not presupposing that motive, stating it as fact, constitute contempt of court?
Never mind Abu Qatada, it really is the Lawrence convictions that pose a greater question for the future of the British legal process. Avoiding that case getting to the appeal courts is going to give their lordships a right headache….
UPDATE: We now learn that not only are the BBC reporting this, with horrified tones at Barton’s audacity, but they’re the ones who actually *reported* his comments to the Attorney General. Yes, the BBC, now policing Twitter, so the Thought Police don’t have to.