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Newspapers win right to print rape suspect's address

Two newspapers teamed up to overturn a bid to keep a defendant’s address secret under the Human Rights Act.

The address of a man accused of two rapes was allowed to be published after an appeal by the Lynn News, the Eastern Daily Press and the BBC.

The defendant’s counsel decided not to pursue a bid to use human rights legislation to keep secret details of where the accused lived, despite initial fears that publication might put his family in danger.

The original banning order had been made by magistrates in King’s Lynn at an earlier hearing under Section Eight of the Human Rights Act, which prevented the address being made public.

Magistrates agreed to the move after being told threats had been made, in the presence of police, by at least one person who knew the alleged victims.

The order was challenged in letters from the three media organisations, and both the Press Association and Anglia TV were also ready to add their weight to the argument.

The media argued that the right for the public to know names and addresses of people accused of a crime was a long established principle of British justice – and that preventing details being made public could wrongly implicate people with the same name as a defendant.

After reading some of the objections, defence barrister Guy Ayers announced he would not make an application to renew the order because any threat against the defendant’s family was no longer perceived to exist.

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