A weekly newspaper has successfully overturned a court order banning the identification of a man accused of seven counts of rape of a girl under 16.
David Martin Phillips, 49, of Maes y Bronydd, Bala, is also accused of two counts of indecent assault on the same girl.
Magistrates in North Wales had imposed an order banning his identification under Section 11 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981.
But Cambrian News managing editor Beverly Thomas wrote to the court, arguing that the imposition of the order was unlawful because the defendant’s name had already been mentioned in open court before the crown prosecutor applied for the ban.
Her arguments were accepted by the legal team at the Caernarfon courts headquarters, who confirmed to the newspaper that “the Section 11 order is of no effect”.
The magistrates, the prosecution team and the defence were also informed and the Cambrian News immediately put a report of the charges with the defendant’s name on its website.
Said Beverly: “The legal team at Caernarfon acted quickly and thoroughly once the legal issue was pointed out to them. It is vital for open justice that we are able to name defendants.
“We stressed that we are acutely aware of our responsibility to ensure that nothing in our report of the case identifies the victim.”
Phillips is due to appear again before Caernarfon magistrates today.