Magistrates rejected demands for a ban on identifying two teenage brothers served with anti-social behaviour orders following a reporter’s challenge.
Lancashire Telegraph reporter Nazia Parveen successfully challenged an application for a Section 39 order on behalf of the 14 and 15-year-old brothers and Blackburn with Darwen Council.
The Council’s Youth Offending team produced a psychological report and claimed that publicity would cause the boys extra suffering.
But Nazia, who was the only media representative present at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court, argued that the order would set a ‘dangerous precedent.’
She told the court ASBO’s were as much for the victims of the crime as the authorities and were design to publicise bad behaviour and reassure the community that offenders were being dealt with.
Crucially also both boys had already been identified on the front page of the Telegraph earlier this year when they were given an interim order.
Nazia said afterwards: “The story was contending for the front page slot on our next day’s paper so it was essential that we were able to name the brothers.
“The magistrates listened to representations from the youngsters’ solicitor and the Blackburn Council legal team who argued for a Section 39 order to protect the boys from further mental harm
“However, the court found in my favour. It was a extremely nerve wracking experience as it was the first order I had contested but I am very pleased with the end result and will continue to contest any unreasonable orders.”
Assistant editor Nick Nunn added: “Nazia refused to be fazed and did a creditable job to ensure that magistrates didn’t bow to arguments which in our view were quite inappropriate.”