AddThis SmartLayers

High Court injunction granted over paper's care home coverage

A High Court injunction has been granted against the owners of the Express & Star in Wolverhampton, to prevent the newspaper from publishing the addresses of a number of children’s homes in the area.

Green Corns, one of the UK’s largest providers of specialist care services for children, brought the action after the Express & Star identified four care houses and their specific addresses in its coverage.

Green Corns claimed that by making the addresses public it increased the risk of the children it its care, many of which have suffered abuse and in more than 25 per cent of cases have been sexually abused.

It also claimed that following the newspaper’s coverage two of its houses suffered substantial damage, were broken into and on one occasion a 15-year-old and his carers had to be removed by the police for their own safety as a crowd of demonstrators protested outside.

After hearing arguments from lawyers for both the Express & Star and Green Corns, Judge Mr Justice Michael Tugendhat considered the rights of the public and the newspaper against the rights of the children and their carers.

Ruling that the childrens’ right to privacy was more important than the public’s right to know, he said: “…I conclude that a restraint on the publication of the addresses of the applicant’s homes is necessary in a democratic society and is in principle proportionate.

“…the application for an injunction to restrain publication through the news media or other means of mass communication of the addresses or locations of homes occupied by, or being prepared for occupation by, children in the care of the applicant succeeds.”

Robert Oreschnik, chairman and chief executive of Green Corns, said: “This case was not brought to gag the press. It was about protecting vulnerable children in our care.

“We have always sought opportunities to explain our work and to engage in informed debate with both the media and local communities.

“We made many attempts to explain to the Express & Star the dangers of publishing the addresses of any children’s homes to no avail.”

Express & Star editor Adrian Faber was unavailable for comment.

Back to the law index