Talk of the trade: Court in the act once again in South Wales

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The Independent Online
WHY IS IT that when unusual things happen in courts, it seems that they tend to be in courts in South Wales? The Cardiff man who wolf-whistled a young woman juror - and was jailed for two weeks for his temerity, though later released - was just the latest. Remember the teenage rapist in Newport, ordered to pay his victim pounds 500 compensation so that she could go on holiday? The youth fined pounds 1,200 for dropping a crisp packet and the man fined pounds 4,000 for pinching the bottoms of hotel staff, both in magistrates' courts in Gwent?

Part of the reason is the Cardiff- based Wales News Service, which keeps permanent - and lucrative - watch for just such eventualities. It was a story by their court reporter, Michael Leidig, that all the national papers bought and ran last Friday night. Then the agency played a key role, about which it naturally does not want to go into detail, in the spirited rivalry between the tabloids to secure exclusive photo sessions with the juror and the man.

Are the news agencies in other parts of the country less lively? Or is Welsh justice just a little

odd?

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