The editor of the Herald group of newspapers in west Wales has today (Monday) lost his appeal against a conviction for identifying a sex victim in a court report.

Thomas Sinclair must pay an additional £2,220 in prosecution costs, as well as his defence costs, on top of the original orders of a £1,500 fine, £1,500 in compensation, £500 prosecution costs and a £150 surcharge.

Judge Keith Thomas, sitting with two magistrates at Swansea crown court, said they found it inconceivable that Sinclair had not read the offending court report but had simply failed to correct it.

Sinclair, who partly owns and edits the Pembrokeshire, Carmarthen and Llanelli Heralds, was found at the original hearing before a district judge to have published so much detail in the report that the victim could be identified when she was entitled to anonymity under the law.

Judge Thomas upheld that verdict.

The report had been published in the Ceredigion Herald, which Sinclair closed down after advertisers deserted the publication because of publicity about the conviction.

Sinclair's barrister, Matthew Paul, argued variously that only those who already knew the girl could have worked out that she was the victim referred to.

Judge Thomas said that amounted to identification.

Mr Paul also argued that Sinclair had not been aware of the report before it had been published.

A door log timesheet showed he had left the Herald's headquarters in Milford Haven at 11.26am to travel to Heathrow airport en route to Oman, where he hoped to raise investment in the titles.

Sinclair' deputy, Jon Coles, received the report, written by a junior reporter, at 12.02pm and forwarded it to him.

But Sinclair had not read it because he had other more pressing matters to deal with.

Mr Coles gave evidence today via video link with Haverfordwest magistrates court.

He said it was not his job to check articles for legal compliance and said Sinclair was a "hands on" editor who had responsibility for that.

Judge Thomas said he did not believe Sinclair had not read the report, partly because there was a banner on the front page highlighting the inside story.

Craig Jones, the barrister for the crown, said that would mean that Sinclair had "neglected to even check his own front page."

The court heard that in a victim impact statement the girl at the centre of the original report said she had not returned to her home area since learning about the publicity for fear that people knew what had happened to her.

"I hope the newspaper learns its lesson," she added.

Judge Thomas said: "It is clear she was greatly relieved to be reassured that her name would not be identified. She was alarmed to find that this article had appeared.

"It has put her back and now she is reluctant to return to her home area."

Judge Thomas said he noted that Sinclair already had a conviction for identifying a juvenile offender in a report in another of his publications.

"The Act is there to protect those who need protection from publicity," he said.

Turning to sentencing, Sinclair said closing the Ceredigion Herald had cost the company £133,000.

He said he was a 33% shareholder in the group and received a salary of £19,000.

Sinclair said the group turned over £850,000 a year but had never made a profit or paid a dividend.

Judge Thomas said the court would not increase the original financial orders but Sinclair must pay for the appeal hearings.

Sinclair offered to pay the £2,220 at £100 a month but Judge Thomas told him to pay within 28 days.

Sinclair later said he intended to challeneg the outcome "by way of Case Stated or Judicial Review".