THIS newspaper was criticised in court for our coverage of the Mike Holland case yesterday.

His barrister repeated previous claims – which were rejected by the newspaper regulator – that we should not have used the word ‘killer’.

He said Holland was traduced in the press. Calling him a killer was offensive and unhelpful.

He said it was the same paper that eulogised him and gave him a business award in 2005.

Killer is a very strong word and we can understand that nobody would want that title.

His crime of manslaughter by gross negligence is different to that of manslaughter by people like Christopher Jeffrey-Shaw, who set light to a car in which student Janet Muller was burned alive.

Holland had built up a deservedly strong and positive reputation in Brighton and Hove.

As was mentioned at length in court, he has done a lot of work with charities. These very good deeds must be remembered amid all this.

But try explaining that to Beverley, the partner of Dave Clark who died when Mike Holland and Grant Oakes failed to heed the warnings about the dangers at the Stanmer House stables. She said if she went to bed last night and did not wake up today it would be better than living without him.

The judge said it had been an inexplicable failure to address an issue Holland and Oakes had been warned would cause serious injury or death.

So we completely refute barrister John Cooper’s claims that our reporting has been irresponsible.

It is our job to inform our readers how a failure of this kind can lead to the loss of a life and have a huge effect on others.

So here, for the avoidance of doubt, is the Crown Prosecution Service’s definition of manslaughter: Conduct that was grossly negligent given the risk of death, and did kill, is manslaughter (“gross negligence manslaughter”).