A driver injured in a car crash has had his complaint about a regional news website publishing CCTV footage of the incident rejected by the press watchdog.
Mr Goldmsith said that at the time the footage was seen by his family, they had not received confirmation that his injuries were not life threatening.
The footage had been provided to Trinity Mirror-owned Lincolnshire Live by a property agency after its cameras captured the moment of impact between Mr Goldsmith’s car and a bus.
Mr Goldmsith complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the site had breached Clause 4 (Intrusion into grief or shock) of the Editors’ Code of Practice, claiming publication of the footage was insensitive.
He said that at the time of publication, he had still been in hospital undergoing tests; as such there would have been no clear understanding, from either the police or the newspaper, of the extent of his injuries.
Mr Goldmsith said his family’s awareness that an accident had taken place, following a phone call he made to his wife, along with his family’s knowledge of the make and model of his car, meant that when they viewed the CCTV footage online, they came to a reasoned conclusion that the footage belonged to the accident the complainant had been involved in.
He said that this had caused his family further distress because at that stage they had not received confirmation that his injuries were not life threatening.
Lincolnshire Live responded that in a live breaking incident, the reporter had come to a reasoned conclusion that the crash had not been fatal, based on his attendance at the scene shortly after the incident and given that the road remained open at all times, suggesting that the police did not feel anyone had been seriously injured.
It said that neither the complainant nor the number plate of the vehicle could be identified from the video footage and that the location of the accident was on one of the busiest roads in the city and that the make and model of the car was not unique, such as to lead to a possible identification of the complainant by his friends and family.
Lincolnshire Live said that any distress suffered by the complainant’s family would have come as a result of the complainant informing them that he had been involved in a crash, but not providing them with any further detail about the seriousness of his injuries.
IPSO noted that the extent of the complainant’s injuries had not been confirmed at the time of publication, it considered that the newspaper’s assessment that the incident had not resulted in a fatality or serious injury on the basis of the reaction of the police, was reasonable, and the material had been published sensitively.
The complaint was not upheld, and the full adjudication can be read here.