In what may prove to be a costly legal blunder, Mirror Group newspapers have launched an appeal against the verdict that they were guilty of phone hacking before it was given.
'One has to say, it does raise the question of how you could know what verdict I was going to hand down,' said the judge Mr Justice Bufton-Tufton today. 'Surely not because I mentioned it in a phone call to a colleague yesterday?'
Former editor of the Daily Mirror Piers Morgan had told the High Court that he 'had no idea mobile phones had been invented'.
'Ask anyone who’s worked with me, they’ll tell you I’ve got a grand old Bakelite telephone on my desk and at home, I’ve got one of those Laurel and Hardy phones with a separate earpiece.
'Naturally I did wonder about these glass and metal rectangles I saw people on the train staring at, or even talking into, but I never made the connection that they might be phones of some kind. I mean, where’s the cord?!?'
His protestations seemed to carry little weight with Mr Justice Bufton-Tufton, who said 'For pity’s sake, man, I’ve heard of them and I’m a High Court judge.'
The Mirror Group strenuously denied any wrongdoing, adding that the judge was an idiot not to have changed his phone passcode from the factory default setting.
'Anyway, I’m sure he wouldn’t want us to publish details of the young female barrister he phoned several times last week, or the Uber he took to her flat on Wednesday night, when his wife thought he was away at a legal conference.'
The judge then issued a revised verdict, clearing the Mirror Group of all past wrongdoings and even giving them a pre-emptive amnesty for their next three crimes.