Media scrum as Archer is released

ON a bright warm summer's morning, Britain's press pack descended on a normally quiet spot in rural Suffolk.More than 60 journalists from publications, television, and radio stations across the country streamed towards the gates at Hollesley Bay to see prisoner FF8282's first seconds of freedom.

By Paul Geater

ON a bright warm summer's morning, Britain's press pack descended on a normally quiet spot in rural Suffolk.

More than 60 journalists from publications, television, and radio stations across the country streamed towards the gates at Hollesley Bay to see prisoner FF8282's first seconds of freedom.

Lord Archer was driven from the Suffolk jail by his son at 8.20am today.

He looked stony-faced – almost grim – as the BMW 7 series car sped out of the gates and back into the free world.

Lord Archer's release came halfway through a four-year sentence for perjury imposed after he was convicted of lying during his successful 1987 libel case against The Daily Star newspaper.

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Today's drama at Hollesley was well stage-managed, with just three uniformed police officers on hand to keep the good-natured press corps in order.

Reporters from one Sunday newspaper had brought along a giant cardboard "diary" that they wanted to present to the shamed peer – but his car sped past with the windows wound up and he appeared to pay no attention at all to the fuss surrounding him.

Two motorcycles with photographers riding pillion chased his car up the road in the hope of gaining exclusive pictures.

Other photographers hid in undergrowth in an attempt to get that exclusive shot, but in the end he was driven so fast that many photographers were unable to get any image of the peer at all.

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