The Ceredigion Herald newspaper was "killed off" by the prosecution of its editor, a court heard today.

Advertisers deserted the weekly publication after Thomas Sinclair was convicted of identifying the victim of a sexual offence in a court report.

"We shut the newspaper down. The publicity surrounding this particular case had a negative effect on our advertisers," he told Swansea crown court.

Sinclair is appealing against the conviction.

Judge Keith Thomas, sitting with two magistrates, rejected the first limb of the appeal when he ruled that the court report had contained so much detail that the victim could have been identified, even if only by family, friends and those who already knew something about her family.

Sinclair argued that he knew nothing about the report until he was made aware that police were investigating a complaint and wanted to interview him.

He said the Ceredigion Herald had been part of the Pembrokeshire, Llanelli and Carmarthen Herald group and as editor of all four titles all stories would be emailed to him before publication.

But, he said, he could not read them all and although he took an interest in the major stories he left the rest to his deputy editor Jon Coles.

He said that a time sheet maintained by a security guard at the group's main premises in Milford Haven showed he had left the building on June 23, 2016, at 11.26am - before the report had been emailed to him.

He then travelled to Heathrow airport for a flight to Oman "to try to raise business investment."

Consequently, he had not had any editorial input in relation to the article.

But cross examined by Craig Jones, responding to the appeal, he agreed he had not mentioned to the interviewing police officer anything about a trip to Oman on the day in question or about an unread email.

"Are you simply trying to wriggle out of your responsibility," asked Mr Jones.

Sinclair said he assumed he had read the email containing the story "because I read everything" but only realised afterwards that he had not.

"Is the reality that you did see the article?

Sinclair said: "No, I didn't see the article. I had my main man nurturing the court reporter and checking her articles. It was agreed that Jon Coles would check her articles but with me having the final say."

He agreed he had told the police officer that in his opinion the article "sailed close to the wind, but by the skin of its teeth its ok."

Sinclair said today that if he had edited the article he probably would have left out some of the information it contained.

The court decided it needed to hear evidence from Mr Coles, who will connect to the court on January 22 by video link with Haverfordwest magistrates court.

The hearing was adjourned until then.