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Mediawatch: Read all about it, read all about it … and more…

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Only days after the Leveson report rapped media knuckles over intrusive behaviour and worse - how would the press react to a local government tragedy with a considerable element of mystery?

North Norfolk DC Conservative leader Keith Johnson, according to police reports, shot his wife Andrea and then himself - more than enough to bring the press pack sniffing.

Surprisingly, both the Sun and the Daily Express confined themselves to pretty straightforward reports of the known facts and remarks by the police - although the Express did come up with the detail that Mr Johnson, who had a paper round, carried this out in shorts the previous day - odd behaviour for November as neighbours noted.

So far, so restrained and respectful, as were the broadsheets in their reporting of the case. But one can always count on the Daily Mail.

At 2,500 words (yes, you did read that right) it pored with prurience over every detail of the Johnsons’ lives.

It reported that Mr Johnson had asked a friend to call to take care of his dog “and then ring the police”.

It discussed an attempt to resuscitate Mrs Johnson and dismissed, without having first raised the idea, the possibility of her having had an affair.

One nameless friend ventured to the Mail: “It was common knowledge that they had quite an open relationship.”

Just the sort who come to sticky ends in Mail-land, no doubt.

Another, equally nameless commentator, besmirched the late Johnsons’ characters saying: “A lot of people raised their eyebrows when Keith became the leader of the council.

“They were famous drinkers. She would quite regularly get so drunk that she would fall into people - and more.” More what? Nudge, nudge goes the Mail.

It dragged the couple’s reputation through a mangle when they were dead and when even the other tabloids largely behaved.

As former Express editor Sir John Junor might have put it: “Pass the sickbag”.

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