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Trainee overturns court order after month in job

A trainee reporter on a Hampshire weekly successfully challenged a crown court order less than one month into the job.

Aldershot News & Mail trainee Elena Cresci, left, applied to have the Section 39 order overturned at Guildford Crown Court.

The order related to a case involving a man who was accused of assaulting a baby.

Elena, 23, challenged the order on the grounds that the child was too young to be harmed by any publicity stemming from the case.

The crown court judge considered the challenge for 24 hours before deciding that he should revoke the order.

It is the latest in a series fo cases where reporters have successfully overturned S39 orders wrongly imposed in respect of babies.

Said Elena: “It was a daunting experience at first, but I was glad to get the order overturned so we could accurately report the case.

“I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do it without support from the team or the media law training I’d received at Cardiff University.”

News editor Richard Pain added: “Elena immediately recognised that it would be impossible to provide a fair and accurate account of the trial if the order remained in place.

“She had only been in the job for less than four weeks but was bold and showed no hesitation in wanting to put her argument before a crown court.”

In a similar case last year, Surrey Advertiser trainee Stephanie Jones-Berry challenged a Section 39 Order covering a baby girl who suffered permanent brain damage at five-weeks-old at the hands of her parents.

Stephanie also argued successfully that the child was too young to be affected by adverse publicity.


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  • September 25, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Was this trainee covering Crown Court on her own after just four weeks in the job? What kind of supervised indentures is that?

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  • September 26, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Anglo, I don’t see your point. This girl is a trainee reporter, fully trained in media law I’d presume. Totally qualified to cover a crown court.

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  • September 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    A trainee by definition is not ‘fully qualified to cover a crown court’. A trainee, at least when I was indentured and learning the job, was accompanied by a senior reporter at all times.

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