Not even high-profile murder trials, let alone lesser offences, receive proper coverage any more – and that is a threat to justice

It is 25 years since the remains of the victims of Fred and Rose West were first discovered at their Gloucester home. This week an ITV documentary presented by Trevor McDonald will return to the case while an updated book on the case by Howard Sounes, who first covered the story as a Sunday Mirror reporter, has just been published. When Rose West eventually stood trial and was convicted of 10 murders at Winchester crown court in 1995 – Fred having hanged himself in his cell – every national newspaper covered the case daily for its seven weeks’ duration, as I did for the Guardian. That level of coverage of even such a major trial would be unthinkable today.

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