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Activist who posed as ‘court reporter’ jailed for 21 days

kg-courts-110616-tf16A far-right activist who claimed to be a court reporter after being spotted taking pictures outside a courtroom has been jailed for 21 days for contempt.

Amanda Smith snapped a suspected rioter who was appearing at Canterbury Crown Court accused of violent disorder at riots in Dover earlier this year.

Her lawyer, Kerry Waitt, attempted to claim Smith was a court reporter having attended many of the hearings into the riots.

But judge Adele Williams have her short shrift as he praised genuine court reporter Paul Hooper of the Kentish Gazette for his work.

Judge Williams said: “I don’t think you can compare this defendant and her activities to our very well-respected court reporter from the Kentish Gazette.”

Paul, pictured, is permanently based at the court covering cases for KM Group titles and was in court to hear the judge’s comments.

Smith, of Shipman Avenue, Canterbury, was jailed after admitting being in contempt of court, having been spotted taking the picture by security staff.

The mum-of two-was told by the judge: “Your conduct was wholly unacceptable – especially taking a picture of someone waiting to be dealt with for violent disorder.”

Gazette editor Leo Whitlock said: “Anyone who has flicked through the pages of their McNae’s lately knows that taking pictures within the precincts of a court is prohibited under the Criminal Justice Act 1925. Real reporters know the law.

“We are proud to play a vital role in being the eyes and ears of the public and helping to ensure that justice is done and seen to be done.

“Plus, every week Paul uncovers some cracking tales that attract enormous audiences and the attention of the nationals.

“I know Paul really appreciates the support he gets from the judges and court staff at Canterbury.”

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  • September 19, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Great story and it’s going straight into my teaching resource file! Thanks to Paul, Leo and Paul.

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