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Family complains over daily newspaper obituary

A grieving daughter complained after a Scottish daily newspaper included a reference to a prison sentence in an obituary of her father.

Katie Muldoon complained to the Press Complaints Commission over a report in the Edinburgh Evening News on the death of her father, Pat Muldoon.

She said the emphasis placed on her father’s brief imprisonment in 1993 was “insensitive” and claimed a breach of Clause 5 of the Editor’s Code, which covers intrusion into grief and shock.

The newspaper had not sought the family’s consent prior to publication, and had included details of the private family funeral in the piece.

The complaint was resolved when the newspaper wrote a letter of apology to the family for the distress caused by the article.

Other recently resolved PCC cases involving regional newspapers include the following.

Harris v Yorkshire Evening Post

Ms Vivien Harris complained under Clauses 1 (Accuracy) and 9 (Reporting of crime) that that the newspaper had inaccurately reported that a criminal offence took place at her home address.

The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated a letter of apology from the newspaper for the error.

Davis v Kent Messenger

Mr Philip Davis complained under Clause 1 (Accuracy) about a report of his son’s court appearance, in which he said that the number of charges to which his son had pleaded guilty had been inaccurately reported.

The complaint was resolved after the PCC negotiated a private letter of apology and acknowledgement from the newspaper.