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Drunken mum gagging plea from reporter

Reporter Frankie Taggart successfully challenged magistrates after they banned publication of the identity of a girl whose mother had run riot at her school.

Frankie, of the Bucks Free Press, was covering a sentencing hearing before Amersham Magistrates for the woman, who had previously admitted an assault at the school.

She was jailed for six weeks after the bench heard how she had turned up drunk at the school, kicked in a door and punched and kicked a matron.

But magistrates made an order under the Children and Young Persons Act to protect the identity of her child.

They were recalled to court to hear Frankie, (26), argue that the identity of the child was already in the public domain.

He added he would have to leave out all but the barest facts of the case if he could not say the offences took place at the daughter’s school – including the defendant’s mitigation.

Magistrates promptly withdrew the order.

Free Press editor Steve Cohen said: “This is a victory for common sense. I congratulate Frankie on his quick thinking and his knowledge of how to mount a successful legal challenge.”

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