A long time ago I mentioned the story of a woman killed at a level crossing in Essex. The Mail was a bit flummoxed at the time, but followed the tale in their own 'impartial' style. Now a verdict has been reached - a man has been found not guilty of manslaughter. Here's how the Mail covered it:
First story: woman killed on tracks. Tasteful picture of corpse covered with tarpaulin at time of family's grief. Even more tasteful quotes from eyewitnesses:
Bank worker Joe Ralph-Davies, 20, who was in the second carriage, said: "The train braked very suddenly. I felt it going over something and there was debris coming up and hitting the windows."
Then: Mail reports man charged with manslaughter. They pretend that
Prosecutor Fiona Harman revealed some of the background to the case but details of exactly what happened to Miss Mack moments before she died could not be reported for legal reasons.
but then print
Jonathan Smith, aged 18, claimed that seconds before being struck by the train Miss Mack had been "safe" and he added: "I had her in my arms, she was safe.
"But her boyfriend screamed at her to get to the other side. I said : 'Stay on this side.'
"But he said: 'This is my train. I've got to be on this side of the track,' and so she tried to cross."
The case comes to trial. The prosecution case is covered in huge detail with the headline 'Dragged to her death': Woman killed after 'angry boyfriend pulled her in front of train'. Was the defence's case covered? Not a peep.
And now that the suspect has been found not guilty by a jury of his peers? Not a word. Too boring to follow it through, is it? Or is there a hasty re-write taking place of the 'He bloody done it' story they had all ready to go?
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