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Editor apologises after wrong house picture in 'paedophile raid' article

Latest resolved complaints dealt with by the PCC. This story: 18.7.2003.

The majority of complaints made to the Press Complaints Commission, which raise a possible breach of the Code of Practice, are resolved directly between the Commission’s staff, editors and complainants.

These are either settled to the express satisfaction of the complainant following some remedial action by the editor or are not pursued by complainants following an explanation or other response from the publication.

Listed here are summaries of complaints involving the regional press which fall into the first category.

Gloucestershire Echo
Mrs A Molloy of Cheltenham complained that a report about a police raid on the home of a suspected paedophile included a photo of her home instead of the house that had actually been raided. (Clauses 1, 3)
Resolution: The newspaper published a letter from the complainant correcting the error and the editor wrote to the complainant to apologise personally for the mistake. In addition a full correction and apology was subsequently published.

Tameside Advertiser
A woman from Manchester complained that a report of the inquest into her daughter’s death was insensitive and – by including her daughter’s name and partial address – provided sufficient information to identify her grandchildren. (Clauses 5,6)
Resolution: The editor sent a personal letter of explanation and apology. The complainant declined a further offer to meet with the editor in person.

Motherwell Times
Stephen Green of Wilshaw, Lanarkshire, complained that an article was inaccurate in stating that he had been assaulted by his brother after attacking his sister with a bottle. (Clause 1)
Resolution: The newspaper published a correction making clear that although the complainant had been charged with attacking his sister his not guilty plea had been accepted by the Sheriff’s Court when the case came to trial.

Lee Oliver complained that an article inaccurately alleged he had spread rumours about the private life of a London Stock Exchange executive on his website. (Clause 1)
Resolution: The newspaper published a clarification and apology.

Chronicle & Echo
A woman from Northampton complained that she had been named in an article after the newspaper had promised to protect her anonymity. She was concerned that this could put her at risk. (Clause 3)
Resolution: The newspaper explained that there had been a mix-up between a number of its staff which had led to the complainant’s name appearing. The editor wrote personally to her to apologise for the distress that had been caused and assured her that any future articles about the subject would not include her name or details.

Georgina Baidoun of Milton Keynes complained that a reader’s letter contained inaccurate statistics about the Middle East through its claim that, in 1906, Jews were in a majority in Palestine. In fact, the complainant could point to statistics showing that Jews were in a clear minority at the time – perhaps by as clear a ratio as 91 per cent Arab to 6 per cent Jewish. (Clause 1)
Resolution: The newspaper published a letter correcting the statistical error.

Evening Standard
Peter Ellis complained, through Baily Gibson solicitors, that an article had inaccurately stated that the firm Currencies Direct Limited was the brainchild of, and set up by, Mayank Patel. In fact, the company was founded by Mr Ellis – Mr Patel joined later. (Clause 1)
Resolution: The newspaper published a correction on this point.

St Neots Weekly News
Mr A Banfield of St Neots complained, on behalf of his son Paul, that the newspaper had inaccurately suggested that Paul had ‘raped women’ at his local police station – in fact he was only convicted of the rape of one woman. (Clause 1)
Resolution: The newspaper published a correction and apology on this point.

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