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Last Updated: Friday, 20 January 2006, 15:29 GMT
City slicker gets community order
City Slickers page
Bhoyrul made 15,000 from the share tipping scam
Former Daily Mirror "City Slickers" journalist Anil Bhoyrul has been given a 180-hour community punishment order at St Albans Crown Court.

The 38-year-old, who pleaded guilty to a share tips scam, made 15,000 from tips published in the newspaper column.

Journalist James Hipwell, 39, found guilty last month of conspiracy to breach the Financial Services Act, will be sentenced later due to ill health.

Trader Terence Shepherd was jailed for three months for the same offence.

Hipwell, of Holloway, north London, made 41,000 in six months by buying, tipping and selling shares.

Hipwell and co-columnist Bhoyrul, of Sutton, Surrey spent thousands of pounds on stock they planned to "ramp" - by highlighting it as "tip of the day" 24 hours later.

Readers of the column did not know at the time it was being suggested by you that they should buy a share, because of what was said in the column, and that the tipsters were about to sell it
Mr Justice Beatson

Then they would sell the holding at a profit as the price rose.

The "share-ramping" involved 44 separate incidents between 1 August 1999 and 29 February 2000, the court heard.

Shepherd was recruited by Hipwell and Bhoyrul - who now edits a magazine in Dubai - to take part in the scam, after contacting them through a message board.

Shepherd, 36, from Kinglea, Leatherhead, Surrey, and Hipwell were convicted last month of conspiring to breach the Financial Services Act between August 1, 1999 and February 29, 2000.

Shepherd was left just over 18,500 the richer from the practice.

Hipwell and Bhoyrul were sacked by the Mirror in 2000.

'Factually inaccurate'

Mr Justice Beatson told the trio: "Readers of the column did not know at the time it was being suggested by you that they should buy a share, because of what was said in the column, and that the tipsters were about to sell it."

Anil Bhoyrul
Bhoyrul said he was "mightily relieved" at the judgement

He said another concern was that some of those tips were "factually inaccurate".

The judge told Hipwell he had concluded the offence he committed was so "serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified".

However, because of the former Mirror journalist's kidney problems and his likely return to dialysis, the judge adjourned sentence until after hospital tests next week.

The judge told Bhoyrul he deserved credit for having pleaded guilty prompting the sentence of "unpaid work for the benefit of the community".

'Transparent' dealing

He has six months to pay back the 14,835 he made from the scam, or face a nine month prison sentence.

Outside court Bhoyrul's solicitor Miles Herman read a statement on his client's behalf saying he was "mightily relieved" the case was over.

He denied he had intended to "deliberately mislead" the public and insisted his share dealing had always been "transparent".

The judge told Shepherd he had no alternative but to give him a custodial sentence and said he had "encouraged and assisted" Bhoyrul and Hipwell spreading the word about tips on the bulletin board iii.

"You may have come into it by accident but you then became really enthusiastic, telephoning the Slickers regularly for information about the pending tips and posting what you had learned on the iii site."

The City Slickers' former editor, Piers Morgan, was cleared by a DTI inquiry of any wrongdoing and backed by executives at Trinity Mirror.


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