Chapter 17 The Trial

On May 26, 2015, Hayes gritted his teeth and walked nervously past a packed gallery to take his seat in Courtroom Two of Southwark Crown Court, an austere 1980s brown brick cube on the south bank of the Thames. Directly across the river the high-rise towers of the City of London dominate the skyline.

Dressed in chinos, a black sweater and no tie, freshly shaven, his hair newly cut, the first person to stand trial globally for rigging Libor looked a long way from the aggressive, controlling bully the prosecution would paint him to be. His petite mother, wearing an elegant silk scarf, shrunk into her reserved seat among the press pack.

That morning photographers had jostled to capture Hayes and his wife as they made their way into the building. White vans sprouting satellite dishes lined the streets. Hayes's image was beamed onto TV screens and plastered across the front pages of newspapers around the world.

It was more than seven years after McGonagle and his colleagues at the CFTC had started probing Libor and 18 months since Hayes's arrest. It had been a difficult period. After early success trading for himself, Hayes's fortunes had nosedived and he'd lost close to a million pounds.1 Tighe had been forced to go back to work and for a few weeks they separated. They rented out the Old Rectory to generate some income and were now living with their young son in a modest, rented house near Tighe's parents in Hampshire. Hayes's hair was starting to turn gray ...

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