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Defence team bid to gag press talked down by trainee reporter

A bid by a defence team in court to slap a ban on publishing the address of the defendant was talked down by Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser trainee David Blackmore.

The lawyers sought a Section 11 Order under the Contempt of Court Act 1981 to prohibit publication of the address of the defendant as it was alleged it would identify the victim.

The defendant had been charged with a series of sexual offences, all the allegations referring to the same victim.

Section 11 is a banning order which gives powers to the courts to withhold a name or other matter from being mentioned in public in their proceedings, and direct that the name or other matter should not be published in connection with the case.

But David challenged the bid on the basis of his legal knowledge.

He said: “I told the court that a S11 banning order is not there for the comfort of defendants and so cannot exclude, for instance, their addresses, citing a case study of R v Evesham Justices ex p McDonagh 1988.

“The magistrates let me address the court and then they retired to consider both sides.

“They returned and agreed with me that the Section 11 banning order would not be applied.”

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