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Editor fined for identifying sex victim launches second appeal

Thomas SinclairAn editor fined for identifying a sex offence victim is claiming his conviction is unsafe because readers could also have thought the person in question was the woman’s sister.

Thomas Sinclair, left, has launched a second appeal against his conviction for the offence, for which he was fined £1,500 at Haverfordwest Magistrates Court last year.

It followed the publication of a report in the Ceredigion Herald on a case which identified “familial links” between the victim and the defendant.

Sinclair was also told to pay more than £2,000 in prosecution costs following the dismissal of an initial appeal, which was heard at Swansea Crown Court last month.

However, he has now applied to challenge the decision by a legal process called ‘case stated’, which would see him appeal to a higher court if successful.

In his application, Sinclair claims the court erred in finding that there was a case to answer because “in circumstances where the complainant had a sister from whom she could not be distinguished by any information in the article, the article could not lead to a member of the public ‘identifying’ the complainant.”

He further claims that there was a failure to direct sitting justices in relation to evidence of his character, that the handling of his appeal was “otherwise vitiated by conspicuous actual or perceived unfairness” towards him, and that findings he was evasive in his evidence and contradicted himself were also unfair.

During his first appeal, Sinclair said the he Ceredigion title had been closed following his conviction because the publicity surrounding the case had a negative effect on advertisers. He still edits the Carmarthenshire, Llanelli and Pembrokeshire Herald titles.

10 comments

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  • February 14, 2018 at 8:44 am
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    If the information Sinclair published meant readers were able to narrow down the identity of a victim of a sexual offence to either the actual victim or her sister, then it was too much information. He needs to stop behaving like a petulant child, scrabbling around for some obscure legal technicality, admit he got it badly wrong and, most importantly, learn from the mistake. Actually, having read previous coverage of this case, he needs to admit he is unfit for the post of editor and do the profession a favour by quitting immediately.

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  • February 14, 2018 at 11:09 am
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    I am thoroughly amused by the term ‘convict’ used to describe this sorry individual. He may be more suited to another post if he thinks it’s ok to identify victims of sexual abuse.

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  • February 14, 2018 at 1:11 pm
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    I sincerely hope he hasn’t been granted legal aid for this appeal – I’d hate to think that any of my taxes are being used to help this disgraceful waste of court time.

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  • February 14, 2018 at 2:06 pm
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    I really wish the word ‘editor’ wasn’t used to describe this clown. He is nothing of the sort. He plays at running so-called newspapers but he is not a journalist. He has no journalistic training and the only way he has been able to find work in a newsroom has been by setting up a company himself. How he thinks he can somehow get away with the kind of cock-up an NCTJ pre-entry trainee wouldn’t make is beyond me.

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  • February 14, 2018 at 7:05 pm
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    Enough is enough with this individual , he’s not a journalist and is doing nothing but insulting those of us who are, we’ve read the calamitous way he crashes from one fiasco to the next and its about time everyone including HTFP just ignored him.
    With luck he’ll go away and reinvent himself and bring chaos and ridicule to another role in another industry

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  • February 14, 2018 at 7:10 pm
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    the Ceredigion title has not been closed following his conviction because the publicity surrounding the case and a negative effect on advertisers, it’s because he hwas myself said in an earlier report that almost no one reads the paper!
    That and complete lack of credibility due to his reputation for complete carnage in anything he does

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