A man accused of murdering his six-year-old daughter has been named after a reporter challenged a court order in the case.
Sutton Guardian chief reporter Mike Murphy-Pyle overturned a section 39 order that had been imposed by magistrates banning identification of the dead child.
However when the case reached the Old Bailey, Mike persuaded the judge that such orders cannot be made in respect of dead children.
It meant the paper was able to name 36-year-old Ben Butler, of Westover Close, Sutton, as the defendant in the case.
In making his representations, Mike quoted guidance by the Judicial Studies board stating ‘Orders cannot be made in respect of dead children’.
The judge at the central criminal court agreed with his argument and lifted the order.
Guardian assistant editor Matt Watts said: “Mike did really well to have the order lifted, but the situation illustrated a wider issue with court orders being put in place in magistrates courts without prior warning of the hearing to the media.
“The first anyone knew of the charges against Mr Butler was when the police sent out a statement after Mr Butler has appeared in court, and the section 39 had been put in place
“This meant we had been deprived of the chance to make representations against the section 39 at the first hearing, when if we had, there was a strong chance it would never have been put in place.
“But without that chance to make those representations, there were several days we were unable to properly report the case, that included our weekly print edition being published.”