A regional daily has apologised to a mother after inaccurately reporting evidence she gave at an inquest into the death of her son.
The Liverpool Echo said sorry to Larissa Kravocva after its report of the inquest, run under the headline ‘Man died after overdosing on painkiller pills’, said she had claimed her son Igor Rudamenko’s bank statements gave her reason to believe that he had spent £600 on pills online.
The Echo’s coverage prompted Ms Kravcova to complain to the Independent Press Standards Organisation, although an investigation by the press watchdog was dropped after the newspaper issued the apology, both in a private letter and in a public clarification.
In her complaint to IPSO under Clause 1 (Accuracy) and Clause 4 (Intrusion into grief or shock) of the Editors’ Code of Practice, Ms Kravcova said she did not say that she had any reason to believe her son had used £600 to buy pills online because the money in question was withdrawn in cash, which could not have been used to buy internet goods.
She added the coroner had found that her son had died as a consequence of taking painkillers prescribed by his GP, not as a result of the sleeping pills he had ordered online.
The Echo expressed its condolences for Ms Kravcova’s loss and accepted that the inquest did not hear that Mr Rudamenko, pictured, spent £600 on sleeping pills from China in the days preceding his death.
However it did not accept that the original headline gave the impression that sleeping pills caused his death as the opening paragraph made clear that a mixture of prescribed pills were found to be the cause of death.
The Echo said that it was relevant to include the fact that the man had previously ordered pills online to aid his chronic back pain, and this was mentioned at the inquest by the complainant.
The Echo’s apology resolved the complaint to Ms Kravcova’s satisfaction, meaning IPSO did not make a determination as to whether there had been any breach of the Code.
The full resolution statement can be read here.