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Newspaper defies police secrecy bid to name Polish rapist

A Polish rapist has been named by a weekly newspaper after a police bid to keep his identity secret failed.

The Derbyshire Times successfully challenged a proposal by Derbyshire Constabulary to withhold Marcin Lucasz Jaworski’s name from publication over fears it would increase tensions in the town of Shirebrook.

A judge at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court dismissed the force’s proposed restriction during a hearing to determine whether Jaworski, 20, should be placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register.

Times court reporter Jon Cooper argued publication was in the public interest and in the interests of public safety, and potential unrest should not be allowed to outweigh these greater concerns.

Chesterfield Magistrates' Court, where the hearing was held

Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court, where the hearing was held

The newspaper further said any reporting restriction would also prevent it from investigating why a foreign national, convicted of rape in Poland in 2014, had been allowed residential status.

But in a statement read out to the court on his behalf, Police Sgt Mark Church said about 10pc of Shirebrook’s population is Eastern European, mostly Polish, and this has put “social strains” on the town’s facilities.

He said tensions reached a peak in 2015 after two incidents involving Polish males and alleged assaults including a stabbing.

Residents’ group Shirebrook Together has held protests, according to Sgt Church, and one revealed a deep-seated mistrust of foreign nationals.

Sgt Church stated: “I am under no illusion that another trigger incident could easily reverse all the good work that has been achieved.”

He argued that Jaworksi, 20, of Eland Road, Langwith Junction, Shirebrook, who has a previous notice for street drinking, is vulnerable, lives with others who could be put at risk and he may leave the area if identified.

But Judge Andrew Davison told the civil hearing last Friday: “A fundamental principle is open justice which is a hallmark of the law. The media plays a vital role in the upholding of that principle on behalf of the public.”

He added: “I am not satisfied that such a restriction can in any way be justified.”

Due to Jaworski’s absence, the hearing was adjourned until 5 May.

Julia Rodgerson, Derbyshire Times content editor, said: “We would like to echo the judge’s comments that the media plays a vital role in upholding the principle of open justice.

“Also well done to Jon Cooper who is our experienced court reporter and made the successful challenge in court.

“It’s been a long term commitment at the Derbyshire Times to cover our local courts and this commitment has paid dividends in this case.”


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  • April 29, 2016 at 9:25 am

    This is exactly what local newspapers are there for. Well done!

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  • April 29, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Well done, The Derbyshire Times. It beggars belief that British police now think it is their duty to conceal a Polish rapist’s identity rather than consider the safety of local residents who pay their wages.

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  • April 29, 2016 at 11:05 am

    This is a very bad example of current police mentality. Even if crime is happening, if people don’t know about it they won’t worry about it. So all’s OK in the world. Its an outlook I first encountered about 15 years ago.
    On a different day, a different court might have accepted the police argument, sadly. But it is good to see a JP paper can still muster the resources to take some positive action.

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  • April 29, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Great work by the Times, and full marks for the judge. The police outlook is just the sort of thing that has caused concern in places like Sweden, where restrictions on reporting incidents have led to residents feeling some of their local papers are complicit in covering up sex crimes and other violence.
    I hope they do find out why a convicted rapist now has residential status.

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  • April 29, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Well done that paper. There is too much secrecy around – esp in the police. If they want citizens to feel safe then it is the police duty to tackle crime and name and shame – not to hide it.

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  • April 29, 2016 at 11:55 am

    The Derbyshire Constabulary clearly picked on the wrong newspaper…

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  • April 29, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Thank goodness for the wisdom of our judiciary: “I am not satisfied that such a restriction can in any way be justified.”

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  • April 29, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Good to see a local paper still manages to have a court reporter – and one with the confidence to challenge. Excellent.

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  • April 29, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Small point. Why mention it is a Polish rapist in heading?
    Would anyone write “English rapist named”/
    Anyway, well done paper.
    I suspect the police were being a bit too……PC?

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