A weekly newspaper apologised to a former mayor after she was mistaken for another woman of the same name who had died.
Hemel Today, the website of the Hemel Hempstead Gazette & Express, said sorry to Gillian Chapman, a former mayor of Dacorum Borough Council, in Hertfordshire.
The apology was prompted by a complaint from Ms Chapman to the Independent Press Standards Organisation, after a story was published online which reported that an inquest had heard that “a former Mayor of Dacorum took her own life after struggling for years with the effects of the menopause”.
Hemel Today named this individual as ‘Gillian Chapman’, and said that she was “mayor from 2011 to 2012, as well as a councillor… from 2007-15, after moving to the area in 1994″, adding the woman was found dead by her daughter.
Complaining under Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice, Ms Chapman said the inquest had related to another woman of the same name.
Hemel Today accepted that it was inaccurate to identify the deceased woman as the former mayor, and apologised to her.
It said that the article had been submitted by an established news agency, and published in good faith, adding it had removed the article from its website as soon as it became aware of the issue.
Hemel Today’s offer resolved the matter to her satisfaction, and IPSO did not make an adjudication on whether there had been a breach of Code.
The full resolution statement can be found here.