There is a disturbing trend that’s been going on for some years now. It’s the way police and prosecuting authorities tend to work hand in glove with the media when someone is charged with serious crimes, with the express or coincidental aim of contaminating public opinion against the defendant.

Yesterday’s front-page splash by the Herald Sun and today’s follow-up stories on John Xydias, who has been charged with multiple rapes, are a case in point. Sure, the Herald Sun and other media outlets have been careful to use the word 'alleged' when describing Xydias or supposed victims, but the general impression is that this man is guilty as charged.