Morgans spent £67,000 on Viglen shares

By Melvyn Howe, PA0

Former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan teamed up with his wife to
buy nearly £67,000 of shares the day before they were tipped in the
tabloid newspaper.

As soon as the article appeared in the paper’s City Slickers column, the stock soared in value.

Morgan,
who used tax-free savings plans to buy most of the shares, was later
cleared of any wrongdoing by both the Department of Trade and Industry
and an internal Mirror inquiry.

London’s Southwark Crown Court
has heard that financial journalists James Hipwell and Anil Bhoyrul,
who used to write the column, were later accused of deliberately
manipulating the market.

The court has been told one of the
companies was Viglen, run by Sir Alan Sugar. Both the journalists
bought shares the day before the article appeared.

Hipwell’s QC, Philip Hackett, read out an “admissions statement” detailing the purchases by Morgan and his wife, Marion.

He
said the first, involving 6,884 shares, was made by Mrs Morgan at
12.37pm on 17 January 2000 using her Personal Equity Plan. They cost
£12,805.

Seven minutes later her husband splashed out £36,074 with his PEP to buy a further 19,632.

He then bought a tranche at 3.28pm – 10,000 shares for £18,275 – through his stockbroker Kyte Securities.

Hipwell
and day trader Terry Shepherd each deny conspiring with Bhoyrul to
“create a misleading impression as to the value of investments”

between 1 August 1999 and 29 February 2000. Bhoyrul is not on trial.

The trial continues.

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