Hacking trial judge blasts Labour MP for sending 'deeply prejudicial' Christmas card featuring Rebekah Brooks

The jury at the phone-hacking trial has been warned to ignore a “deeply prejudicial” Christmas card sent by a Labour MP featuring Rebekah Brooks.

Nick Brown MP sent the card containing images of Prime Minister David Cameron, a former police horse and Brooks to parliamentary colleagues and members of the press lobby.

A story published on the Independent’s website claimed:

"The Conservatives will keep you warm this winter", was shown to the jury at the Old Bailey today.

The court was told that the card had been trending on social networking website Twitter.

Brooks is on trial accused of conspiring to hack phones between 3 October 2000 and 9 August 2006, along with other allegations.

Justice Saunders told the jury that posts on social media websites such as this were "deeply prejudicial to Mrs Brooks" and should be ignored.

"On a weekly basis I have given you a warning, I think in fairly strong terms, about not being influenced about anything outside of this court," he said.

Referring to the card, the judge added: "You simply ignore things like that."

Saunders said the inappropriate online material was by "people who ought to know better".

The judge has previously warned jurors to ignore "opinion and speculation" related to the trial on the internet.

Earlier in the trial he referred to an edition of Private Eye magazine, featuring Brooks on the front cover.

"It is meant to be satire. You ignore it; it has no serious input and it is not relevant to your considerations," Saunders said previously.

All of the defendants deny all of the charnges. 

The trial continues.

MORE ON THIS STORY : 

Tags: 

Sign up for our free weekly digital magazine, Press Gazette Journalism Weekly, and daily newsletter
To contact Press Gazette with a story call 0207 936 6433
or email pged@pressgazette.co.uk
To advertise, please call 0207 936 6764.