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Footballer cleared of rape has complaint against weekly dismissed

LovedayA former youth international footballer cleared of rape has had his complaint about a weekly newspaper’s reporting of the case dismissed.

Loveday Mumbuluma, who represented Zambia at under-20 level, complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the Essex Chronicle breached Clause 4 (Harassment) and Clause 12 (Discrimination) in an article reporting on his trial.

Mr Mumbuluma, pictured above left, said that the Chronicle’s photographer had refused to leave the vicinity of Chelmsford Crown Court after his father told him that his son did not want his photograph taken, adding the newspaper had then used a file picture without his permission.

The complainant also said that the reference to him being Zambian was discriminatory, in breach of Clause 12, because he was a British citizen.

He was also concerned that he had been described as a “man” accused of raping a “teenager” because both parties were 19 at the time of the incident, arguing that this should have been made clear in the report.

The Chronicle said its photographer had explained to Mr Mumbuluma’s father that he was in a public place and was entitled to take a photograph, and then waited for a few minutes for the complainant to emerge.

When he did not, the photographer left without a photograph and the Chronicle used a file picture from a past report on the former Chelmsford City youth player receiving a surprise call-up to the Zambia under-20 squad.

The Chronicle considered that it had been fair to describe Mr Mumbuluma as “Zambian”, despite his British passport, because it believed that his connection to Zambia was newsworthy due to the previous coverage it had given to his football career.

It added that when someone is 19 years of age the terms “man” and “teenager” are interchangeable.

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

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  • December 4, 2015 at 11:15 am
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    If the lad his innocent then I’m pleased he’s been found so by a court.

    By he’s a chump if he thinks “I don’t want my photo taken going in to court, as I walk along his public footpath,” should stop the media doing their job.

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  • December 4, 2015 at 9:32 pm
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    Man and teenager interchangeable at 19. Not on my watch.

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