Twitter bird
Credit: By shawncampbell on Flickr. Some rights reserved

A local newspaper reporter has taken to Twitter to live-tweet an application he says is for the press to be barred from the courtroom.

Gareth Davies, chief reporter of the Croydon Advertiser tweeted that the defence made a submission for the journalist to be "excluded from being in court on request of a witness".

He tweeted that he was told the defence claim was because his "heavy reporting" had intimidated a witness who "feels 'persecuted'" by coverage of the defendant.

Tweeting from Croydon Magistrates Court, Davies, who is @Gareth_Davies09 on Twitter, added that the witness has "even refused to give evidence behind a screen if I'm in court".

He also said on Twitter that he would not be able to give a complete report of the case if he was unable to listen to the defence.

According to Davies, the application is to bar all press, not just him.

He added: "After initially being told I wouldn't be allowed, I've been told that if bench approves exclusion I will be able to make a submission."

At the time of writing the case was back in session after being adjourned, during which time Davies said he received advice from lawyers.

The case has been moved to a different courtroom which is below ground and from where Davies is unable to get a mobile phone signal.

Davies tweeted: "Ok. This is getting ridiculous. case moved back to first court, which is underground with no signal."

Follow @Gareth_Davies09 and @Joanna_Till, who Davies has passed his notebook to, for updates.

Croydon Magistrates Court was unavailable for comment at the time of writing.

Update 3pm: Davies has tweeted to say the judge rejected the application from the witness and the reporter will not be excluded from court.

According to Davies, the judge said: "What I find difficult in seeing is how witness will find the press intimidating"

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