AddThis SmartLayers

Deputy editor banned from police station over trial follow-up

The deputy editor of the weekly Your Leek Paper has been banned from his local police station after Staffordshire Police took exception to articles he wrote about an assault case following the completion of the trial.

Shaun Lintern has been told to stay away from Leek police station and its weekly briefing on crime in the area “for the time being”, and send another reporter from the paper instead.

Staffordshire Police have said it would be “inappropriate” for Shaun to attend the briefings after he wrote two articles about unidentified footprints found at the home of an assault victim.

The footprints were not mentioned at the trial, which saw a man sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment for the assault, and police have said they are not investigating anyone else in connection with the offence.

But editor Gary Shenton said the articles were published in the public interest, and that Shaun had merely been carrying out his duties as an investigative reporter.

He added that since the paper revealed the ban it had received letters of support from readers.

Gary told HoldtheFrontPage: “It appears that police don’t like criticism.

“I’ve not received a written complaint and I’m annoyed (at the ban) because it means I’ve got to find another reporter for the press call and we only have a small team of three reporters including Shaun.”

Shaun said: “I find the decision really quite bizarre. The articles were in the public interest and, even if the police don’t agree with them, I don’t see how it affects my reporting of the usual crime stories.

“The weekly briefing has a very local focus, completely different to the stories we published over the last two weeks.”

A spokesman for Staffordshire Police told the paper: “Staffordshire Police are currently considering the publication of Mr Lintern’s articles and, accordingly, feel it inappropriate – for the time being – for Mr Lintern to represent the newspaper at Leek police station’s weekly media briefings.” Do you have a story about the regional press? Ring 0116 227 3122/3121, or e-mail [email protected]