Max Mosley’s first encounter with the News of The World in the courtroom has not brought the outcome he desired.

Mosley is battling the newspaper on two fronts - firstly he was wanting the removal of all video clips and stills from the video removed from the newspaper’s website and from future publications. He is also seeking “unlimited damages” in a breach of privacy claim, which will see this sordid affair drag on well into the summer.

If he had succeeded in forcing the removal of picture and video evidence from the News of The World then that may have gone some way towards allowing the whole tale to fade slightly from the public’s mind, but the judge hasn’t seen things the same way.

While he seems to agree that there is no reason why this information should be in the public domain, he claims that it is so widespread that to remove it from this one site wouldn’t do any good.

I have, with some reluctance, come to the conclusion that although this material is intrusive and demeaning, and despite the fact that there is no legitimate public interest in its further publication, the granting of an order against this respondent at the present juncture would merely be a futile gesture.     Mr Justice Eady

It seems a rather strange stance to me - forcing the News of The World to remove it would at least be a moral victory for Max. Of course if people really wanted to watch the video (why would they though?) then they could seek it out elsewhere, but why take this seemingly defeatist attitude?

If for example a two shops were selling alcohol to underage kids and someone tried to stop one shop, I wouldn’t expect a judge to deny the call to shut it down simply because the kids could just go and buy it elsewhere so they might as well have the chance to buy it there!

I know this may not be as serious a crime (if indeed there has been a crime committed anywhere in all this), but hopefully you get my drift.

The newspaper will no doubt be lauding this as a victory on their part - even though the judge clearly doesn’t agree that they should have published it in the first place - so we can expect them to run with this story for a while yet.

Anyway, I can see Max appealing against this ruling so watch this space.