The Premiere League footballer who gained a super-injunction to spike reports of his alleged affair with Big Brother model Imogen Thomas has been named by Scotland’s Sunday Herald.
The paper made the decision as tens of thousands of people openly defied the courts to go online and name the star.
On Friday lawyers acting for the man launched legal action
against Twitter in an attempt to force the company
to divulge the names of users who had breached an injunction.
But within hours of the action being made public, tens of thousands of
people began posting his name online, taunting the judiciary and
making a mockery of the legal system.
The Sunday Herald said it believed the law was unfair and no longer workable.
“We believe it is unsustainable that the law can be used to prevent newspapers from publishing information that readers can access on the internet at the click of a mouse,” the paper wrote in an editorial.
“We believe it unfair that the law can not only be used to prevent the publication of information which may be in the public interest but also to prevent any mention of such a court order…The issue is one of freedom of information and of a growing argument in favour of more restrictive privacy laws.”
While the newspaper is published and distributed in Scotland, copies were being sold in England yesterday.
Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming described the law as a “joke” and said it required an urgent rethink.
He said: “The judges’ application of privacy law, which is ill conceived to start with, is now close to breaking point, under pressure from the biggest act of civil disobedience seen for many years,” he told the Daily Teegraph
“Thirty thousand people have now broken the law by telling a joke. This is making the judge’s application of the law a joke. The footballer is being named across the world and now also in Scotland. It is only in England and Wales where he must not be named.