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Newspaper to pay damages over pornography allegations

A regional Sunday title agreed to pay damages to a former Labour special advisor after making allegations that he hacked a Conservative website to upload pornography.

Wales on Sunday has apologised to David Taylor for an article published in June last year which he said suggested that he was involved in hacking into Delyn Conservative Association’s website and posting a gallery of graphic images.

He was also unhappy about claims by the title that he sent a tweet which insulted Liverpool football fans who died in the Hillsborough disaster.

The title apologised for the article last September and also agreed to pay damages to Mr Taylor at the end of last year but the case has only just come to light.

It is now due to go to the High Court because Trinity Mirror has refused to pay him unless he waives a claim for the company to pay his after-the-event insurance premium.

The article in question was a comment piece published when Mr Taylor left Wales to move to the United States to study cyber security and was headlined “Spin Doctor; all in a spin as Wales’ loss is America’s gain”.

It highlighted the two incidents, including when Mr Taylor tweeted “You’ll never walk again” while watching a Liverpool match in 2009.

A story was written at the time of the tweet but it made clear he was not aware the phrase had connections with Hillsborough, however this line was not included in the article last year.

An apology published last September on the paper’s website WalesOnline said that the title had “wrongly suggested that David Taylor, was involved in hacking the website of the Delyn Conservative association”.

It said: “We wish to make clear that Mr Taylor had no involvement in the hacking of the website and there are no grounds to suggest he did.

“We would also like to make clear that Mr Taylor’s tweet about Liverpool was said innocently – as he said at the time he would have never have tweeted such a thing if he realised that it might be thought to refer to the Hillsborough tragedy.

“We are happy to set the record straight and we apologise to Mr Taylor for any hurt or embarrassment caused.”

Trinity Mirror declined to comment.