City Slickers 'victims of own success'

By Melvyn Howe, PA

Two financial journalists accused of reaping a string of illicit “share ramping”

windfalls were the victims of their own success, a court has heard.

of the tips they highlighted in their City Slickers column in the Daily
Mirror, then edited by Piers Morgan, not only made them a “handsome
profit” but also sent stock in the computer firm owned by Sir Alan Sugar soaring.

Hipwell and Anil Bhoyrul, said to have been among a number of the
newspaper’s employees who bought shares in Viglen the day before their
article appeared, later made “the usual sort of boast” about their

They wrote: “Sir Alan Sugar made the fastest £100m in City history yesterday because of us.”

Katz, prosecuting, told London’s Southwark Crown Court: “As a result of
that happening and because various people at the Mirror had apparently
taken advantage of the situation, it led to the matter going into the
public domain, with letters, articles and complaints appearing in the
press. The matter was then investigated.”

Hipwell, 39, and
private investor Terry Shepherd, 36, of Kinglea, Leatherhead, Surrey –
are accused of making £41,000 and £17,000 respectively from their
allegedly illicit dealings – 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, 38, who is said
to have benefited to the tune of £15,000, is not on trial. Hipwell is
now editor-at-large for gambling magazine Inside Edge and Bhoyrul is
editor of Dubai-based magazine Arabian Business.

The trial continues.

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