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Judge: Mazher Mahmood evidence 'entirely inconsistent'

The judge in the Tulisa Contostavlos trial said evidence given by undercover reporter Mazher Mahmood was "entirely inconsistent".

Explaining his decision to throw out the trial, Alistair McCreath said the prosecution's case had become "tainted" by "serious misconduct".

Before the start of the trial, Contostavlos' lawyers had attempted to have the prosecution "stayed", meaning it would have been thrown out before beginning.

Read: Tulisa judge: 'Strong grounds' to believe reporter 'lied'

The court hear that there was a problem with evidence provided by a driver called Alan Smith, who originally said he had heart Contostavlos speaking disapprovingly about drugs when she was in his car.

He then "changed his mind", after a conversation with Mahmood, the court was told.

At a pre-trial hearing, Mahmood denied having had any conversation with Mr Smith about what Contostavlos had said.

But the judge said when asked about the same topic during the trial, Mahmood gave answers that were "entirely inconsistent".

The Sun suspends 'Fake Sheikh' Mazher Mahmood

The Sun has suspended undercover reporter Mazher Mahmood after the judge in the Tulisa Contostavlos drugs trial said there were "strong grounds" to believe he had "lied" at a pre-trial hearing.

A statement from the newspaper said: "We are very disappointed with this outcome, but do believe the original investigation was conducted within the bounds of the law and the industry's Code. This was demonstrated by the CPS decision to prosecute,

"The Sun, of course, takes the Judge's remarks very seriously. Mr Mahmood has been suspended pending an immediate internal investigation."

Read: Tulisa judge: 'Strong grounds' to believe reporter 'lied'

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Tulisa urges police to investigate 'Fake Sheikh'

Tulisa Contostavlos has urged police to investigate undercover reporter Mazher Mahmood - known as the 'Fake Sheikh - and "put an end to his deceits".

She was speaking after her trial on drugs charges collapsed with the judge telling jurors there were "strong grounds to believe" that Mr Mahmood had "lied" at a pre-trial hearing.

Read: Tulisa Contostavlos drugs trial collapses

Tulisa co-defendant Michael Coombs walks free

The co-defendant in the the Tulisa Contostavlos trial has also walked free after the judge decided the case against him could not proceed.

Michael Coombs, known as Mike GLC, also walked free after the trial collapsed.
Michael Coombs, known as Mike GLC, also walked free after the trial collapsed. Credit: PA

Rapper Michael Coombs, whose stage name is Mike GLC, had pleaded guilty before the trial to supplying half a gram of cocaine to undercover reporter Mazher Mahmood.

On hearing the decision the 36-year-old reportedly wept and hugged his defence barrister, Jeremy Dein QC.

Read: Tulisa judge: 'Strong grounds' to believe reporter 'lied'

Tulisa punches the air as trial collapses

Tulisa Contostavlos punched the air with delight and hugged supporters after her trial was thrown out at Southwark Crown Court.

The former X Factor judge had been accused of brokering a cocaine deal with an undercover reporter, a charge she strongly denied throughout.

Tulisa Contostavlos hugged supporters after her trial collapsed.
Tulisa Contostavlos hugged supporters after her trial collapsed. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The judge threw out the case after deciding there were "strong grounds" to believe that the undercover reporter Mazher Mahmood had "lied" at a pre-trial hearing.

Read: Tulisa judge: 'Strong grounds' to believe reporter 'lied'

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Tulisa judge: 'Strong grounds' to believe reporter 'lied'

The judge in the trial of Tulisa Contostavlos told the jury there were "strong grounds" to believe an undercover reporter had "lied" at a hearing before the trial began.

Judge Alistair McCreath was speaking as he threw out the case at Southwark Crown Court.

The Sun's Mazher Mahmood - known as the 'Fake Sheikh' - had posed as a wealthy film producer when he met Contostavlos at a number of hotels and restaurants.

The former N-Dubz singer strongly denied that she had helped broker a drug deal between Mahmood and her rapper friend Michael Coombs, also known as Mike GLC.

Read: Tulisa Contostavlos drugs trial collapses

Benedict Cumberbatch: Finally I can 'photobomb' myself

Benedict Cumberbatch joked, "Finally I can photobomb myself" after the Sherlock star prepared for his likeness to grace Madame Tussauds in London.

Cumberbatch, who famously "photobombed" stars including U2 on the Oscars red carpet, said it was a "weird and wonderful compliment to be included in the ranks of talent already committed to wax".

Benedict Cumberbatch famously photobombed U2 on the Oscars red carpet.
Benedict Cumberbatch famously photobombed U2 on the Oscars red carpet. Credit: REUTERS/Mike Blake

"It's an extraordinary experience," he said after sculptors and technicians took dozens of measurements and photographs for the waxwork.

"Also my agents will be thrilled, they've wanted a clone of me for some time," Cumberbatch added.

Evan Davis to replace Paxman on Newsnight

BBC journalist and presenter Evan Davis has revealed that he will be leaving the Today programme on Radio 4 and joining BBC Two's flagship current affairs show Newsnight.

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I didn't believe it when I read about it in the papers but now it's official. I'll be leaving @bbcr4today and heading off to Newsnight.

Davis is taking over the lead presenter role from veteran Newsnight host Jeremy Paxman, who left the show in June.

Evan Davis is heading from the Today programme to Newsnight.
Evan Davis is heading from the Today programme to Newsnight. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/Press Association Images
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