A Polish rapist has been named by a weekly newspaper after a police bid to keep his identity secret failed.
The Derbyshire Times successfully challenged a proposal by Derbyshire Constabulary to withhold Marcin Lucasz Jaworski’s name from publication over fears it would increase tensions in the town of Shirebrook.
A judge at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court dismissed the force’s proposed restriction during a hearing to determine whether Jaworski, 20, should be placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register.
Times court reporter Jon Cooper argued publication was in the public interest and in the interests of public safety, and potential unrest should not be allowed to outweigh these greater concerns.
The newspaper further said any reporting restriction would also prevent it from investigating why a foreign national, convicted of rape in Poland in 2014, had been allowed residential status.
But in a statement read out to the court on his behalf, Police Sgt Mark Church said about 10pc of Shirebrook’s population is Eastern European, mostly Polish, and this has put “social strains” on the town’s facilities.
He said tensions reached a peak in 2015 after two incidents involving Polish males and alleged assaults including a stabbing.
Residents’ group Shirebrook Together has held protests, according to Sgt Church, and one revealed a deep-seated mistrust of foreign nationals.
Sgt Church stated: “I am under no illusion that another trigger incident could easily reverse all the good work that has been achieved.”
He argued that Jaworksi, 20, of Eland Road, Langwith Junction, Shirebrook, who has a previous notice for street drinking, is vulnerable, lives with others who could be put at risk and he may leave the area if identified.
But Judge Andrew Davison told the civil hearing last Friday: “A fundamental principle is open justice which is a hallmark of the law. The media plays a vital role in the upholding of that principle on behalf of the public.”
He added: “I am not satisfied that such a restriction can in any way be justified.”
Due to Jaworski’s absence, the hearing was adjourned until 5 May.
Julia Rodgerson, Derbyshire Times content editor, said: “We would like to echo the judge’s comments that the media plays a vital role in upholding the principle of open justice.
“Also well done to Jon Cooper who is our experienced court reporter and made the successful challenge in court.
“It’s been a long term commitment at the Derbyshire Times to cover our local courts and this commitment has paid dividends in this case.”