For some months now, the Lieutenant Governor has been warning local newspaper editors that they risk prosecution for publishing sensitive military information. Now it seems that the Evening Post editor, Mr Walter Guiton, has finally overstepped the mark.
On 15 July, General Rochfort received clearance from the Home Office to prosecute the Evening Post for printing a report mentioning the departure from Jersey of a detachment of the South Staffordshire Regiment. The publication was, in the words of Home Office, ‘a clear infringement of Regulation 18 of the Defence of the Realm Act’ and, in fact, just the latest in a series of transgressions by this newspaper. The Home Office cited reporting on the imminent arrival of German POWs in Jersey, information on the comings and goings of vessels, and details on a U-boat sinking.
Rochfort, it seems, quickly moved forward with the prosecution. On 17 July, Mr Guiton appeared before the Royal Court and was found guilty. He received a token fine of one pound – and a clear warning that the consequences of any subsequent breaches would be more severe