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Baby name ban lifted after PA court challenge

A judge lifted an anonymity order banning journalists from naming the child of a woman convicted for neglecting her other baby who died while they slept in the same bed.

The order was lifted following a challenge from the Press Association.

Judge Stuart Baker, sitting at Preston Crown Court, made the order under Section 39 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 to give anonymity to the surviving baby of defendant Rebecca Mary Ireland.

But the child was not involved in the proceedings in any way, having been born after the events which led to Ireland appearing in court on the charge of neglect, Media Lawyer reports.

PA legal editor Mike Dodd raised the issue with the judge, pointing out there was no power to make the order because the child was not “concerned in the proceedings” in the manner required by the Act.

He also drew the judge’s attention to the recently published updated guidance from the Judicial Studies Board entitled Reporting Restrictions in the Criminal Courts. The judge subsequently revoked the order.

Ireland was jailed for 12 weeks when she appeared in court last month after admitting neglect of her six-week-old daughter Katie.

The court had heard that Ireland went on a 14-hour drink and drug-fuelled bender in April then took Katie to bed with her.

When she awoke at 8am the following day the baby was face down in the bed and was not breathing.

Medical experts were unable to agree on the cause of Katie’s death. The prosecution expert said she suffocated but the defence expert suggested she might have been a cot death victim.