A rogue blogger who published the names of Seven CEO’s Tim Worner’s alleged mistresses should be given a jail term a Sydney court has heard.
The women, both Channel Seven media identities, were named in court documents during the legal battle between Worner and his former lover Amber Harrison.
At the time, the names were suppressed by the court, but somehow leaked to blogger Shane Dowling (main picture) who ignored orders not to publish them.
B&T has read Dowling’s offending article but obviously cannot repeat the content.
Worner was cleared of the alleged affairs by an internal investigation by Seven, and last week Harrison apologised to the named women, for their names being made public.
On March 15, Dowling was found guilty of contempt of court for publishing the names of the women and at a hearing to decide his fate on Friday in the NSW Supreme Court the lawyer representing the named women said a prison sentence was the only appropriate penalty.
Dowling wasn’t present at the hearing, but Fairfax Media has reported on a submission he sent to the judge.
According to Fairfax, Dowling said he had done “nothing more than any journalist does everyday [sic] around the country”, as the women’s names “were in legal documents”.
Adding he was “taking a stand against … dodgy suppression orders”.
He said the case “was a huge free speech, political communication and public interest matter”.
“If Australian courts are going to jail or penalise journalists for doing nothing more than reporting the news then Australia is no better than China or Russia,” he said.
Dowling has until August 4 to make further submissions.