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Rapist’s absent solicitor has complaint against news website dismissed

IPSO_logo_newA solicitor whose absence from court delayed a rapist’s sentencing has had his complaint against a regional news website dismissed.

Jayotis Lemosa complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that KentOnline had breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article about his client, Brian Thrale, having his sentencing adjourned.

The KM Group-owned website reported the hearing had been adjourned because the complainant had failed to appear in court.

Mr Lemosa said the case had been adjourned pending psychiatric reports and added the report had misrepresented the reasons for his absence.

The publisher said its report had accurately summarised what was said in court. Since receiving the complaint, it had spoken to the court and it had confirmed that the case was adjourned, in part, due to the complainant’s non-attendance.

However, as the case might have been adjourned even had the complainant attended, the newspaper offered to amend the first paragraph to remove the reference to the hearing being adjourned and to append a footnote. It also offered to add a section detailing the reasons the complainant had given for his absence.

The complaint was not upheld, but IPSO welcomed the newspaper’s offer to amend the article in response to the complainant’s concerns.

The full adjudication can be read here.

The press regulator has also presided over a resolution between the Worksop Guardian and Liam Hicken.

Mr Hicken claimed the Guardian had breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) over an article about the pubs in Worksop which police had been called out to the most in 2014.

The complainant expressed concern that the newspaper had published inaccurate figures regarding the number of times police had been called to pubs in the town, and noted that some of the pubs listed had been closed for many years.

The Guardian said the online article should have made clear the numbers included police calls to areas around the pubs, and not just the premises themselves.

The complainant accepted an offer to publish a clarification and IPSO did not make a determination as to whether there had been a breach of code.

The full report can be read here.