DURING the frantic pre-trial speculation on the double murder trial of Worksop man Neil Entwistle, one US journalist commented on the 'gritty former coal mining community' that is Worksop.
Upon visiting our town, the American reporter was either impressed or bemused by the townsfolk's siege mentality.
He was rebuffed at every journalistic juncture. People weren't commenting. People weren't speculating. People weren't prejudging double murder suspect Neil Entwistle.
That's because people in Worksop aren't as au fait with the so called facts of the case. This is mainly because the Worksop Guardian has resisted the temptation to sell a few extra copies by splashing hearsay, opinion and ill-informed comment across its news pages.
Now, as Entwistle's parents Cliff and Yvonne arrived at Middlesex Superior Court today, they too are refusing to comment on the fate of their son.
The main question on the other side of the Atlantic appears to be: 'how did they afford the trip'? (sic].
Well this is one thing the Editor of the Worksop Guardian will gladly speculate on. Having worked in this town for decades, I've come to understand one thing about the people of Worksop.
They will do anything for family. The Entwistles are a normal family. They have normal jobs. Yvonne looks after children as a dinner lady. Cliff is a councillor. They live a modest life.
But I'm sure about one thing. They would have scrimped and saved every last penny they have, if they thought it would help their son. Any Worksop family would do the same.
I do not know what happened that January night and will not allow my journalists to use the pages of the Worksop Guardian to cast aspersions.
Today we've heard how at least one potential juror has asked to be dismissed from duty because their head is swimming with salacious details of the case. Subconsciously, they have him down as guilty.
They weren't with whoever killed little Lillian and Rachel, and yet they have a clear picture in their heads of what happened - or what the media over there have said happened.
How can the US press be allowed to get away with this? Surely the law needs changing over there. All one can hope for is that justice is done for the mother and daughter whose lives were so tragically cut short. If Entwistle did it, he should pay the price. If he didn't, he should be allowed to grieve in peace.