THE GB News channel was summoned to court last month over an article and video monologue published during the trial of the Colston Four, it has emerged.

The broadcaster put out the content from presenter Mercy Muroki – titled “I’m in favour of white people calling out racism … but the Colston saga reeks of white guilt” – while court proceedings were ongoing.

Earlier this week, Rhian Graham, 30, Milo Ponsford, 26, and Sage Willoughby, 22, Jake Skuse, 33, were acquitted of criminal damage following an 11-day trial at Bristol Crown Court.

None of the defendants denied their involvement in the incident, which saw the statue to slave trader Edward Colston rolled into Bristol harbour during a Black Lives Matter protest, but claimed the presence of the statue was a hate crime, and that it was therefore not an offence to remove it.

READ MORE: Why is there even a debate about keeping memorials that should bring only shame?

During the trial, GB News presenter Muroki commented on the proceedings and suggested Bristol council and police had colluded with protesters to tear the statue down.

She said in the piece: “I don’t need a bunch of white hippies crippled by white guilt to throw a largely irrelevant statue in a river to prove they’re not racist.”

The National:

The channel was then summoned to court and at a hearing on December 23, first reported in The Guardian on Friday – Judge Peter Blair considered whether the publication of the piece could be deemed contempt of court.

He told the court he was “struggling to see” how the opinion piece fit with the GB News charter, and explained he didn’t want the “risk of jurors coming across this sort of material and the trial being prejudiced by them being influenced”.

Representatives for the defendants argued that the opinion piece created a risk of prejudicing the trial.

Ultimately, the judge did not opt to pursue a charge for comment of court.

READ MORE: George Square: Hundreds in Glasgow to 'protect' war memorial

He told the court: “The swift response of GB News in seeking to remedy the position when my concerns came to their attention, the promise of undertaking further focused training of journalists on matters of ‘contempt of court’ and their frank acknowledgment of their errors are, in my view, sufficient and proportionate steps to reflect their culpability on this occasion.”

At the hearing, Claire Overman, the representative for GB News, blamed a “breakdown in communication” for the publication of the piece, saying the channel’s lawyer had little time to look over it on the day it was put out.

She said staff would receive media law training to ensure they thoroughly understand contempt of court rules.