Slickers Accused of Pocketing Thousands

Article excerpt

Byline: NICK MOSS

TWO former Daily Mirror journalists pocketed thousands of pounds after dishonestly tipping shares, a court was told.

James Hipwell and Anil Bhoyrul were accused of 'ramping' the prices of a number of shares in the newspaper's City Slickers column after investing in the companies ahead of publication.

Philip Katz QC, prosecuting, told the jury at London's Southwark Crown Court: 'The column was used to manipulate the market in various shares.

'There was a clear pattern of buying, tipping and selling shares straight away to make a quick profit.' He accused the duo of 'cynical disregard for accuracy and truth,' and said they knew the shares would go up 'irrespective of the accuracy of the story behind the tip'. One Slickers 'tip of the day' was drug firm Oxford Glycosciences, which they falsely claimed had made a breakthrough on an Aids vaccine, alleged Mr Katz.

He said that on another occasion they sold shares at lunchtime in the company behind Leeds United football club. Only that morning they had told readers 'you cannot lose' and urged them 'not to miss out on the bonanza'.

The pair had said BSkyB would take a 9.9pc stake in Leeds Sporting at 45p a share.They themselves sold out at 27.5p, having bought the shares at 25p, the court heard. Mr Katz added: 'They had no faith in their predictions. …