Entertainment TV Seven newsreader escapes contempt of court charge

Seven newsreader escapes contempt of court charge

Peter Mitchell
Peter Mitchell apologised to the Supreme Court of Victoria after an on-air blunder about an upcoming murder trial. Photo: AAP
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Seven Network newsreader Peter Mitchell has avoided being charged with contempt of court after an on-air blunder while referring to an upcoming Melbourne murder trial.

Seven’s lawyer Will Houghton QC made a “sincere and genuine apology” before Supreme Court of Victoria Justice Lex Lasry earlier in March for the mistake, the content of which cannot be reported for legal reasons.

The comments related to a case due to go to court on January 30.

Mr Houghton said the words Mr Mitchell used were not part of the script.

On Thursday, Justice Lasry said he would not refer the matter to the Department of Public Prosecutions for contempt. He accepted the mistake was not deliberately made.

Mr Mitchell, who appeared before the court previously, was not present in court on Thursday.

Earlier in the proceedings, Justice Lasry said it was “bleeding obvious” the words Mr Mitchell spoke should not have gone to air, and that his comments were “thumbing one’s nose” at the court.

The defence barrister for the person facing trial had in an earlier hearing described the comments as “highly reckless in the extreme”.

-with AAP

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