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Paper overturns court order to name child cruelty pair

A newspaper was able to name parents who admitted child cruelty on their five-week-old baby after successfully overturning a court order.

The Peterborough Telegraph managed to overturn a Section 39 order so it could name Alistair Nicholls and Rebecca Flatley, who were sentenced last week after Nicholls attacked his baby son, leaving him with a broken arm and leg.

The order prevented any details identifying the baby in the case, which also prevented the identification of the parents but chief reporter Stephen Briggs argued it was in the public interest to name them.

This led to Judge Sean Enright lifting the restrictions, so the pair could be named.

The Peterborough Telegraph's coverage of the case.

Stephen said: “We got some previous cases in the past where courts had overturned the orders and armed ourselves with those.

“We wrote a letter to the judge explaining why the order should be overturned and he agreed with us.

“We said that the defendants shouldn’t be able to hide behind the anonymity of the baby and that it was in the public interest to name them.”

The paper also argued that the child was too young to be affected by any publicity about the case.

The Telegraph reported that Nicholls attacked his new-born baby in March last year, resulting in fractures to his arm, thigh, knee, shin and ankle.

He then failed to take his son to hospital for a week and made up a story blaming the injuries on his three-year-old son, who he said collided with the baby’s basket.

Nicholls, 25, of Hansbury Close, Whittlesey, was jailed for two-and-a-half years, while Flatley, 23, of The Junction, March, was locked up for nine months after they both admitted child cruelty.

Hugh Vass, prosecuting, said Flatley, who is four months’ pregnant, should have acted on the signs her son had been injured.

The judge, in sentencing Nicholls, said: “This is in all respects a most painful and difficult case.

“You caused really serious injuries to your infant son. It must have been a serious assault and no steps were taken to get medical attention.”

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  • August 16, 2013 at 11:28 am

    What a lovely couple. Not quite as evil as the mother of Daniel Pelka and her “partner” but I hope they get as good as they have given in The Big House.

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