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Daily says sorry over incorrectly reporting date of pensioner’s death

ipso-green-320A regional daily has apologised after incorrectly reporting the date of a pensioner’s death.

The Leader, Wrexham, said sorry to Philip Jones after he complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation about the story in question, which reported the opening of an inquest into his 92-year-old mother’s death.

The story reported that she had died on 25 February, after suffering from a fall, and the post-mortem had revealed that sepsis was the cause of death.

Complaining under Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice, Mr Jones said his mother had died on 13 February and claimed that when he raised this point with The Leader, it had not been sympathetic and had questioned if he had attended the inquest.

In response, The Leader apologised for any offence it caused by the manner of its response when first contacted Mr Jones, explaining that it receives many complaints from individuals about reports of court and inquest proceedings when the complainant was not present at the hearing.

The newspaper later verbally apologised for the errors, and made arrangements to publish a correction.

Mr Jones said this resolved matters to his satisfaction, and IPSO did not determine whether there had been a breach of code. The full adjudication can be read here.

IPSO has also recently dealt with the case of Campbell v Belfast Live.

Shannon Campbell complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that Belfast Live breached Clause 4 (Intrusion into grief or shock) in a tribute piece to her father.

The article, which also contained details about the death of the complainant’s grandmother Tilly Campbell, reported that “the son of a pensioner murdered in her home, was buried yesterday by friends who said he had never come to terms with the brutal killing”.

The complainant expressed concern that in a tribute piece for her father, it had been necessary to include details of the circumstances surrounding her grandmother’s death.

Belfast Live apologised for any offence that was caused and said that it had reported on matters which were in the public domain, given that details surrounding Tilly Campbell’s death had been widely reported at the time.

It further said that it was necessary to include this information in the article, in order to explain to readers why it was that the Mr Campbell had been unable to come to terms with his mother’s death.

The complainant accept the website’s offer to write her a private letter of regret, and IPSO did not make a determination on whether there had been a breach of code.

The full resolution statement can be read here.

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