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The BBC's Nick Higham
"So far he has made no comment"
 real 56k

Thursday, 12 April, 2001, 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK
Editor resigns after trial collapse
Colin Myler
Myler once marketed rugby league in Europe
Sunday Mirror editor Colin Myler has resigned three days after the collapse of the Leeds footballers' trial.

On Monday a Hull Crown Court judge dismissed the jury after three days of deliberations and eight weeks of evidence in a trial costing an estimated 8m.

It followed the publication of an article in the Sunday Mirror, and criminal charges for contempt of court could be brought against both the newspaper and Mr Myler.

The decision to publish was a serious error of judgement.

Mark Haysom
National Newspapers MD
If found guilty, Mr Myler could be jailed although it is more likely a fine would be levied against the newspaper, which denies contempt.

Mark Haysom, managing director of Trinity Mirror's National Newspapers group, said the decision to publish the story "was a serious error of judgement".

He said: "We would wish to take this opportunity to express again our regret at the consequences of that decision."

Tina Weaver, currently deputy editor of The Mirror, had been named as the new Sunday Mirror editor.

New appointee Tina Weaver
Tina Weaver, new Sunday Mirror editor

In a lengthy statement, Mr Haysom confirmed there had been a review of the editorial and legal processes leading to the article's publication on 8 April.

"This review has established that the well-defined procedures in operation in the company were followed and that legal opinion was sought prior to publication," he said.

"This legal opinion contributed to the decision to go ahead with publication on the basis that the interview was deemed not to be prejudicial to the court case in Hull."

He added: "Whether publication of this article is subject to contempt proceedings is a matter for the Attorney General. We will, of course, be cooperating fully with his office on this matter.

"It would, however, be wholly inappropriate for us to comment further on this aspect at this time."

Lengthy journalistic career

Mr Myler first edited the Sunday Mirror from 1992 to 1994 and his second stint in charge began in 1998.

Originally from Liverpool, he began his journalism career at a news agency in Southport.

By the age of 22 he was working on Fleet Street.

He began as a reporter on The Sun before moving to the Daily Mail.

He was eventually made news editor on the Sunday People but switched to the Today newspaper when it launched in 1985.

Journalists crowded outside Hull Crown Court
The footballers trial attracted huge media interest

He was first brought in as Sunday Mirror editor late in 1992, replacing Bridget Rowe.

Within months he was at the centre of a row over a decision to print pictures of Princess Diana working out at an exclusive gym.

He moved across to the Daily Mirror in 1994 but sales slumped and in 1995 he was replaced by current Mirror editor Piers Morgan.

In a career change, Mr Myler left newspapers to head the newly-formed Super League Europe, a marketing organisation for rugby league.

Within 15 months he was wooed back to journalism, taking the helm at the Sunday Mirror in 1998 for a second time.

Under his editorship, the rapid decline in sales has slowed though the red-top is still unable to buck the downward trend afflicting the Sunday newspaper market.

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10 Apr 01 | UK
Footballers face retrial
09 Apr 01 | UK
Recent contempt cases
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