A weekly newspaper had to withdraw thousands of copies from sale after publishing a photo of an innocent man alongside a story about a drug dealer being jailed.
The Essex Chronicle reported last week how 21-year-old Alexander Rudd, of Yare Avenue, Witham, was jailed for three years for dealing in thousands of pounds worth of Class A drugs.
But the paper published a photo alongside its story of a different Alexander Rudd who had no involvement in the case but is understood to live in the same area.
The error led to the paper withdrawing its entire Braintree and Witham edition from sale, before an apology was published online last Friday.
It said: “In some copies of yesterday’s paper we published a report about the jailing of Alexander Rudd of Yare Avenue, who was found guilty of drug dealing.
“The report was illustrated with a picture of a man also called Alexander Rudd, aged 23, but who is entirely innocent of any offence. We apologise to the innocent Mr Rudd for our error and for any distress caused to him or to his family.”
Around 3,000 copies of the edition were printed and Nev Wilson, senior editor at the Essex Chronicle Media Group, said they withdrew as many as they could from sale once they realised the mistake.
The Braintree and Witham edition was the only one in which the story appeared.
Nev told HTFP: “A photograph was printed in error in last week’s paper. We have apologised to the family affected and appropriate action is being taken.”
He added that a full apology would be printed in the paper and the article would be rerun with the correct photo.
The Chronicle’s story reported how Alexander Rudd was caught with 90 grams of cocaine worth up to £4,500, and £2,000 in cash stashed in a cabin in his garden.
He pleaded guilty to possessing a quantity of cocaine with intent to supply at Chelmsford Crown Court.