Welwyn paper holds front page for verdict on rapist

The weekly
Welwyn & Hatfield Times had to hold back its front page as the
couple who admitted raping a 12-week-old baby awaited their sentencing
on the paper’s deadline.

The horrifying case was first broken by
the Times last year when Alan Webster and his girlfriend Tanya French
first admitted they were guilty of a series of attacks on the baby girl
in court.

Reporter Emma Reeves, who had covered the case
throughout, found herself among the media frenzy outside St Albans
Crown Court as the couple awaited their fate.

As sentencing took
place, reporter Kelly-Ann Kieman and news editor Chris Lennon waited in
the office on tenter hooks for Reeves to file the copy in time for
deadline.

Lennon said: “With the minutes ticking down to our 1pm
deadline and still no word from court, I admit we were starting to get
concerned.

“Emma then called through to say the sentencing had been adjourned for lunch and would take place at 2pm.

“We
relayed the message through to the subs desk and our editor Terry
Mitchinson decided we’d hold the front page as long as we could – until
the printers really started shouting at us!”

The Times was eventually put to bed at 3pm.

Reeves
found her involvement in the story was not over, after being
interviewed by Jeremy Vine on his BBC Radio 2 show the following day.

She told him: “It was the first case I’ve covered where I’ve actually felt quite sick listening to the evidence.”

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