A weekly newspaper editor succeeded in having a reporting restriction lifted which banned a defendant being named by the title.
Editor Chris Maguire, from the Chorley and Leyland Guardian, made a submission to judge William Morris at Bolton Crown Court on an order which prevented a young man who was charged with causing death by dangerous driving being named.
The Section 4(2) Order under the Contempt of Court Act 1981 was imposed after an arson attack on the defendant’s home, because of concerns the court case relating to that could be prejudiced.
But the order was lifted after Chris’ submission in court and letters sent to the judge by his paper and by regional daily The Bolton News.
Chris argued the order should not be in place as the defendant’s name was widely available through internet searches and he outlined the steps the paper had taken to report the case fairly so there was no ‘serious prejudice’ to the future case.
This led to the judge lifting the order on naming the defendant, Jordan Clayton, but keeping it in relation to his full address.
Said Chris: “This was a victory for common sense. This case has dragged on for 18 months and the order made reporting it almost impossible. All we wanted to do is report it fairly and accurately.”
Lifting the order, the judge praised the “informative and extremely helpful” letter which had been drafted for the Guardian by the Newspaper Society’s political, editorial and legal affairs department, which set out the legal basis for the challenge.
Clayton’s trial is due to be held next year after he was charged with causing the deaths of two Chorley teenagers.