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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 December, 2003, 11:25 GMT
DJs leave after Soham comments
Ian Huntley
Ian Huntley was convicted of the murders of the schoolgirls
Two local radio presenters whose comments during the Soham trial caused them to be investigated by the attorney general have left the station they worked for.

Mark Peters and Lisa Freame asked listeners of Shropshire's Beacon FM whether Ian Huntley's testimony could be believed as they hosted a breakfast show phone-in.

The broadcast on 26 November appeared to breach the strict rules of court reporting, which ban any comment on the guilt or innocence of a person on trial.

At one point Mr Peters called into question Huntley's account of how Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman died in his house, saying: "It's almost like the most unbelievably made-up story in the world ever, really, isn't it?"

Do you idiots not understand the principle of sub judice?
A listener's response to the broadcast

He added: "Well, I personally think it is.

"I can't believe any member of the jury is going to believe that story."

He and Ms Freame went on to encourage listeners to get in touch with the station with their comments.

Several listeners did contact the presenters to point out their apparent error.

'Opportunities elsewhere'

One texted the programme to say: "Do you idiots not understand the principle of sub judice?

"You can't comment on the trial.

"It's against the law. You're in a LOT of trouble!"

Radio Group GWR, the owner of Beacon FM, said on Wednesday that the presenters had left the station, which broadcasts to Shropshire.

A statement issued by the group said: "Following discussions between Beacon FM and Mark Peters and Lisa Freame, Beacon FM announces that Mark and Lisa will be leaving to pursue opportunities elsewhere."

Ruling awaited

Mr Peters and Ms Freame have not been on air since the broadcast.

A spokeswoman for the company said GWR had nothing more to say about the matter, and confirmed Nigel Freshman would host Beacon FM's breakfast show for the time being.

Attorney General Lord Goldsmith is still to make a ruling about whether the station and the two presenters will be prosecuted.

The pair could be fined or sent to prison if they are found guilty of contempt of court.


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