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  1. Media Law
October 6, 2016updated 07 Oct 2016 7:44am

Mazher Mahmood’s cover is blown as custody picture released and his image widely used by media

By Dominic Ponsford

Mazher Mahmood’s chances of resurrecting his undercover journalism career were dealt a further blow with the release of his police custody photo last night.

Mahmood has always previously fought hard to protect his identity claiming that publication of his photo would put himself and his family in danger. His journalism has previously led him to expose gangsters and criminals.

In November 2014 he failed to get an injunction against the BBC stopping it publishing grainy undercover footage of him driving.

And yesterday the Met published a custody photo which has been widely reproduced across the media. Mahmood had arrived and left court with a hood over his face.

Under national police guidelines there is a presumption that images of convicted criminals will be released upon conviction unless there is an overriding reason for not doing so.

Mahmood, 53, and Alan Smith, 67, were both found guilty of perverting the course of justice after a two-week long trial at the Old Bailey.

The court heard that Mahmood and Smith conspired to change a statement in the Tulisa Contostavlos drugs trial which cast her in a favourable light. Mahmood was also accused of lying in court about his involvement in changing the statement.

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Met Police officer in the case, Detective Constable Jim Morrison, said: “This case is a reminder that perverting the course of justice is a very serious offence that goes to heart of our justice system. We will always take action where statements or other evidence has been tampered with.”

Mahmood’s own paper, The Sun, published a photo of him today with his face clearly visible apparently taken by a freelance outside court.

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