The editor of the Pembrokeshire Herald has been fined for a "cavalier approach" to court reporting restrictions after he admitted publishing the name of a youth who had appeared before magistrates earlier this year.

Thomas Hutton Sinclair, 37, of Hamilton Terrace, Milford Haven, admitted breaching Section 49 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 when he appeared at Llanelli court today.

Sinclair had published the name of a teenager who had appeared before Haverfordwest youth court in January.

Any individual appearing at youth court is automatically granted anonymity under the 1933 Act.

In addition to identifying the teen, Sinclair had included an editor's note in which he had stated that he was aware it was illegal to publish the youth's name but had chosen to do it despite the regulations.

District Judge Neil Evans was told how Sinclair, who has a previous conviction for making false representations, initially claimed he had been unaware that the case had taken place in a youth court.

Mathew Paul, defending, told the court that the publishing of the teen's name was "a highly unusual breach of the particular provision" of the 1933 Act.

Mr Paul repeated his claim from an earlier hearing that Milford Haven Port Authority was also guilty of breaching the Act in its issuing of a press release in relation to the teen's appearance in court.

"The port authority and the national media have also breached the law but we accept that the article published has gone further," said Mr Paul.

"This breach comes from a misunderstanding. A mistake was made."

Mr Paul said editorial guidelines at the Pembrokeshire Herald had been "tightened" in the wake of the breach.

District Judge Evans told Sinclair that the granting of anonymity for individuals appearing in youth court was a fundamental pillar of the British legal system.

"You as the editor knew this defendant was a youth and at the very least you ought to have made proper enquiries' said Judge Evans.

"This is a serious matter.

"This was a cavalier approach to reporting."

Sinclair was fined £500 and ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs and a £50 legal surcharge.