City Slicker Bhoyrul sentenced

By Jon Slattery 
 
Former City Slicker Anil Bhoyrul was sentenced today to an
180 hours Community Punishment Order for illegal share tips published
when he was working for the Daily Mirror.

Sentence on fellow City Slicker James Hipwell was adjourned for
medical reports. He is suffering from a kidnery disease and will be
admitted to hospital next week. 

Mr. Justice Beatson, sitting at St. Albans Crown Court, said Hipwell was facing a custodial sentence.

A third man, Terry Shepherd, was jailed for three months half of which was suspended.

After
the sentencing Bhoyrul said he accepted responsibility for what he had
done, but added: “however the atmosphere, lack of leadership and moral
responsibility while I was employed at the Mirror contributed significantly to those events”.

Earlier
hearings at Southwark Crown Court heard that Hipwell and Bhoyrul used a
“buy, tip and sell” technique to “cynically manipulate” the market and
send stock values soaring.

They recruited day trader Shepherd who
acted as a go-between, receiving tips from the two writers, and
suggesting companies the journalists could plug. One tip triggered a
probe by the Department of Trade and Industry concerning Viglen, the
computer company run by Sir Alan Sugar.

Hipwell and Bhoyrul were subsequently fired from the Mirror.

Hipwell
made £40,763 from the scam, and Shepherd was left £18,595 richer.In
December they were convicted after a seven week trial of conspiring to
breach the Financial Services Act between 1 August 1999 and 29 February
2000.

Bhoyrul, who currently edits a Dubai-based magazine, made
£14,835 from the scam and pleaded guilty to the same charge at an
earlier hearing.

The judge ordered that sum be confiscated.

The
trial heard the journalists repeatedly “ramped” shares with the sole
object of making money, and in the clear knowledge that what they were
doing was illegal.”The conclusion is that the column
was being used, at least partly, to manipulate the market so they could
profit,” said Philip Katz, QC, prosecuting.

Bhoyrul’s barrister, Stephen Solley, QC, said
today the editor of the Mirror at the time of the offences, Piers Morgan, was
“wound up like a spring by the excitement of those months. He should
have said ‘this must stop’.”

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