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Weekly apologises for publishing photo of attack victim

A weekly newspaper has apologised after publishing a photo of a seriously injured man as he was being treated by paramedics following an attack.

Richard Brown complained to the Press Complaints Commission on behalf of the victim after the Lincolnshire Echo published a photo of him in September, following a violent attack in the street which left a weapon embedded in his skull.

The complainant was concerned that the title had published a photo of victim Matthew Probert receiving assistance in the immediate aftermath of the incident.

He believed it had been published in breach of Clauses 3 (Privacy) and 5 (Intrusion into grief or shock) of the Editors’ Code of Practice.

The complaint has now been resolved after the newspaper promptly removed the photograph from the online article and also apologised privately and publicly to Mr Probert and his family.

An statement on the Echo’s website said: “On this website on September 2, we reported that Matthew Probert from Scunthorpe had been the victim of a serious assault in Lincoln city centre.

“To illustrate the severity of the incident, we published a photograph of Mr Probert as he was being treated by paramedics shortly afterwards. At the time, we took the view that publishing the photo was in the public interest.

“However, Mr Probert and his family have pointed out that publication of the photograph caused him and the wider family significant distress, which we accept.

“It was never our intention to add to the distress and upset which Mr Probert and his family suffered at what we now know was a very difficult time for them. Accordingly, we have apologised to the Probert family, and are happy to repeat the apology publicly.”