Stephens sounds off

“PRESS freedom doesn't mean you can publish absolutely anything. Everyone knows there are things better left unsaid.”

These are the words of self-styled legal “gun for hire” Mark Stephens in an interview with The Journalist, the paper of his client the National Union of Journalists.

And the senior partner of Stephens Innocent goes on to illustrate his point in a colourful interview. He claims his role in the Marks and Spencer swimsuit plagiarism action involved “leaking” photos to the press of scantily-clad girls.

“It was a chance to run a few girls with their kit off,” he says.

He later blames the police for leaking stories to the press: “These days the coppers are scampering for their mobile phones before they reach for the charge sheet.”

Stephens originally acted against the union. “We shagged them rotten,” he says. “The NUJ then decided to use us itself, on the excellent principle that you hire the lawyer who last shagged you.”

He describes Attorney General Sir Nicholas Lyell as “a second-rate politician”.

He adds: “I have got the Taylor sisters' teeth into one of his buttocks and I am encouraging Colin Stagg…to get his into the other.”