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Newspaper entitled to name attack case victim rules IPSO

IPSO_logo_newThe press watchdog has rejected a claim that the victim of two assaults should not have been named in a newspaper report of the case against her attacker.

Adam Sedgewick, 39, of Landrew Place, St Austell, pleaded guilty to two offences of assault against his former partner and received a conditional discharge.

The Independent Press Standards organisation dismissed a complaint against the Cornish Guardian over a report on the cas published on 1 October last year in which the woman victim was named.


The woman argued that she should not have been named in the story as she was the victim in the case and that identifying her was an intrusion into her privacy in breach of Clause 3 of the Editor’s Code.

The newspaper said it was entitled to name the woman as the case was heard in open court, and there was no reporting restriction which would have stopped it identifying her.

While the newspaper did not accept that it had breached Clause 3, it acknowledged the distress caused to the woman and offered to remove her name from the online article.

However the woman did not consider this to be a satisfactory resolution, and her name had already been published in the print version of the article.

Ipso’s complaints committee ruled that the case reported in the article took place in open court, with no reporting restrictions in place, adding: “The newspaper had been entitled to report the details of the case, and to name the complainant in doing so.”

The woman’s complaint was not upheld.  The full adjudication can be read here.

Other recent IPSO cases involving regional newspapers include:

Allen v Worcester News

A union complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation over a regional daily’s report that a postman was caught on CCTV delivering a missed delivery card without attempting to give the package to its intended recipient.

Brendon Allen of the Communications Workers Union, on behalf of Terry Jones, claimed the Worcester News had breached Clause 1 (Accuracy), Clause 2 (Opportunity to reply) and Clause 3 (Privacy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice.

The postman was not named in the article and IPSO found not breach of code on any count.

The newspaper had offered to publish a response to the article from the complainant, which was declined.

The complaint was not upheld and the full adjudication can be read here.

Aston v Belfast Telegraph

Brenna Aston complained under Clause 1 (Accuracy) a Belfast Telegraph comment piece on the subject of modern feminism, particularly the No More Page 3 campaign.

She particularly objected to, among other things, the article’s claim the group wanted to “ban boobs” from The Sun newspaper, saying it lobbied for the feature’s “voluntary removal”.

The Bel Tel said this was “a matter of semantics”.

IPSO found the piece was not significantly inaccurate and the complaint was not upheld.

The full adjudication can be read here.

A Woman v Manchester Evening News

A woman complained to the regulator under Clause 1 (Accuracy) over a piece in the Manchester Evening News entitled ‘Salford children’s service boss defends role in Rotherham scandal’.

The complainant, who was the “boss” in question, said it was incorrect to say she had defended her role as she had simply stated the facts of the situation.

She also said the use of the word “claimed” in reference to problems she asserted she had found in Rotherham, regarding the town’s child sex abuse scandal, implied she should not be believed.

The newspaper considered that the article made clear that the complainant was not only free from accusations of any personal failings, but was credited with improving the situation.

It offered to remove a paragraph from its online version of the story and publish a statement clarifying she was not criticised by a report into failings at Rotherham Council.

The complainant did not consider that the proposed statement fully addressed her concerns and was concerned by the absence of an apology.

The committee did not uphold the complaint, and the full adjudication can be read here.


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  • March 30, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Can’t help feeling the first of these should never have got to the stage of a decision having to be made. Surely someone could have taken the complainant aside and explained the basic workings of a court in a free country? Having to go through a pointless procedure was just a waste of time, particularly for the newspaper concerned.

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