News that boxing legend Naseem Hamed was to be jailed for 15 months came in the nick of time for the sportsman’s local paper, the Sheffield Star.
He was sentenced less than half an hour before the paper’s city final deadline.
Staff at the paper’s York Street offices were on tenterhooks waiting for Judge Alan Goldsack to return with his decision at Sheffield Crown Court on Friday, and a page one without the sentence had been prepared just in case.
But the timing of the sentencing, announced at 12.20pm, meant the news was in the paper and out on the streets shortly after going to print at 12.45pm.
Editor Alan Powell said: “It was quite close.
“We had two people in court and our photographer was there very early to get a picture of Naseem with his wife Eleasha.
“We suspected he would go in early and he arrived at 9.05am even though the case wasn’t due until 10.30am.
“Ironically it didn’t start on time but was delayed because there was so many media there.”
Naseem Hamed was jailed for 15 months and banned from driving for four years after he severely injured a motorist in a 90mph horror smash on a Sheffield road.
He had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing and a custodial sentence had been expected, although the length of the sentence has surprised some.
Earlier editions of the paper had included a double page backgrounder on pages eight and nine, and a page one for the final edition had been prepared with details read out in court prior to the sentence being given out.
But this was quickly switched to include the full story, with more on page two to accompany the double page spread further into the paper.
Alan added: “Everyone was very relieved that it came in time.
“We’ve been following the story all the way through since the crash and it is a big story for Sheffield.” Do you have a story about the regional press? Ring 0116 227 3122/3121, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org