Herald Newspapers in Wales has been ordered to pay a former freelance journalist almost £6,500 in unpaid wages and court costs.
Alan Evans said he spent a year trying to recover wages owed to him before taking the company to county court with help from the National Union of Journalists.
The company has previously been ordered to pay back nearly £3,000 in unpaid wages to former employee Kelvin Mason.
Evans, now editor of hyperlocal Welsh website Llanelli Online, said: “I have had to rebuild my business because this company refused to pay me and I found myself either having to work for them for nothing or leave.
“It has taken 12 months to get this judgement and Herald Newspapers have avoided every opportunity to participate in mediation, which has always been my preferred route.
“I am extremely grateful to the NUJ for their help in this matter.”
Despite the court order, made in January, Herald Newspapers owner/editor Thomas Sinclair (pictured) has denounced Evans’ claim as “ridiculous” and said he is challenging it in court.
He said notifications about previous court hearings regarding the claim had been sent to the company’s old address and as such they were unaware of and unable to attend these hearings.
Sinclair said: “We are now in the process of arranging a new hearing date with the court and this time we should be notified of the hearing.
“We are 100 per cent confident that once we actually get into court, Mr Evans’s ridiculous claim will be struck out.”
Sinclair said he accepted the company does owe money to former employee Mason and that it was “in the process of paying this”.
Mason worked for the Ceredigion Herald, which was closed in December last year by Sinclair following his conviction for breaching the Sexual Offences Act by publishing an article that identified a sex offence victim.
Herald Newspapers continues to print weeklies the Pembrokeshire Herald, Carmarthenshire Herald and Llanelli Herald.
Picture: Herald Newspapers