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Friday, 20 July, 2001, 02:28 GMT 03:28 UK
Papers revel in Archer verdict
Lord Archer's spectacular fall from grace makes headline news in Friday's newspapers, with every one agreeing he got what he deserved.

"Pay us 2.2m" demands the Daily Star, which lost the 1987 libel trial at which Lord Archer lied, eventually leading to his conviction on Thursday for perjury and perverting the course of justice.

It warns that he has 14 days to repay the 500,000 damages it was forced to give him, plus hundreds of thousands of pounds of compensation it now wants.

Quoting the title of one of the millionaire's own novels, the paper says it wants "not a penny more not a penny less" and threatens to take him back to the High Court if he doesn't pay up.

The Guardian sums up his conviction with the headline 'A liar's moment of truth'.

Describing when the jury delivered its verdict, journalist Simon Hoggart said Archer did not flinch as the word guilty was spoken.

But he "jerked as if he had been shot and his lip pushed forward in what looked like unbelievable anger" when his co-accused Ted Francis was cleared, he said.

A woman's scorn

The Guardian said "three angry women" had sealed Archer's fate.

Those were former secretary Angela Peppiatt and former mistress Andrina Colquhoun, who both gave damning evidence in court.

Also prostitute Monica Coghlan, who was at the centre of the libel trial against The Star and had her reputation ruined by Archer.

Humiliated wife

But The Times said one woman is expected to stand by him - his long-suffering wife Mary.

Valerie Grove writes in the paper that Lady Archer knew what she was getting into when she married her husband.

She says she will be a great comfort to Archer, claiming he will be thinking "life behind bars might be disagreeable, but life without Mary would be impossible".

The Daily Telegraph says the verdict was "another humiliation for the wife used to coping with 'Jeffrey's little bombshells'".

It says that the trial judge, Mr Justice Potts, seemed unmoved by Lady Archer's "fragrance" and was more interested in questioning her evidence.

The Express says Lady Archer is facing a possible police investigation over her evidence in the wake of the judge's comments.

Strip search

Reflecting on what Archer's time in prison might be like, The Sun says he will be entering "hell" and reminds him not to forget to write.

In an interview in the paper, disgraced ex-Cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken says Archer would have been "led in handcuffs past barking dogs and shouting warders" and strip searched at Belmarsh Prison in south-east London, where he was held last night.

The Times says Archer will be allowed five 2 phone cards to call his family and a special two-hour visit within the next few days, after that visits will be weekly.

If Lady Archer does see her husband they will be allowed physical contact, it adds.


The Mirror says Archer will rub shoulders with some of Britain's most dangerous murderers in Belmarsh, including Jill Dando's killer Barry George.

Not mincing its words, the paper calls him a nasty, cruel, vindictive, lying, cheating crook in its leader comment. It says the adulation he has received over the years is "sickening".

The man who exposed Archer's lies could not stop smiling at the verdict, according to The Express.

Ted Francis looked relieved at being cleared of perverting the course of justice but "after bottling up his resentment for 10 years he could not contain his delight" it said.

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