It's charmingly naive for the CPS to go down on its knees and beg the media not to prejudice the Karen Matthews case. I'm guessing they haven't been reading any of the coverage of the 'liquid bombs' trial (or AIRLINE TERROR PLOT as the BBC labelled it, implying there's no doubt about there being a plot) that is ongoing as we speak, including the Express permitting website comments on the trial that are not only unsavoury but also assume guilt on the part of the defendants, who - lest we forget in the rush for 24-7 news - in fact deny all charges.
Karen Matthews now stands accused of these offences and has the right to a fair trial.
says the CPS. Chinny reck-on, I say.
It is extremely important that any media reporting is responsible and does not prejudice the due process of law.
That's all very well, but unless the police and the CPS get off their sorry behinds and prosecute newspapers for contempt of court, then it will just keep happening again and again and again. As I've said before, I have a lot of faith in the jury system and I think the extent to which responsible jurors can be swayed by the press, TV or internet is debatable. But that's not to say there's no chance at all, especially in the case of repeated smearing articles, lying reporting, and rumour masquerading as fact. If the CPS wants there to be no prejudice, they should take action - the PCC, run by newspapers themselves, certainly won't.
By the time any offence had been committed in the Matthews case, it will have been too late and the taxpayer will have to foot the bill. If that does happen, questions must be asked over the CPS's attitude to previous articles with regard to notorious criminal cases, and whether they really did everything they could to prevent it.