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Shopper claimed daily photographer said he was ‘from space’ in IPSO complaint

NewIPSOA shopper claimed a regional press photographer told him he was “from space” in a complaint to the press watchdog.

Abu Saled complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation after he was pictured in a supermarket queue in the Birmingham Mail.

The Mail had reported on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic at supermarkets and contained multiple photos of people queuing to get into a supermarket, but Mr Saled claimed the photographer’s behaviour amounted to harassment.

IPSO found in favour of the Mail after failing to find there had been any failure to respect a request to desist on the part of the photographer.

Complaining under Clause 2 (Privacy) and Clause 3 (Harassment) of the Editors’ Code of Practice, Mr Saled said he and a few other fellow shoppers had asked the photographer to desist while he was taking pictures of them in the queue.

He further claimed the photographer had said he was “from space” when asked.

Denying a breach of Code, the Mail said no one had asked the photographer to stop taking photographs, although he had heard someone shouting.

He could not tell who it was or what they were saying, and the Mail added this could not amount to a request to desist from taking photographs.

The newspaper provided all of the photos that had been taken that day, which it said showed that there was a clear distance between Mr Saled and the photographer.

The Mail had also deleted a number of the images which showed Mr Saled from its website as a goodwill gesture but added he had no reasonable expectation of privacy and the photos did not disclose any personal information about him.

IPSO found, based on the images provided by the Mail, that Mr Saled appeared to be at a distance from the photographer which supported the paper’s position that he had been too far away for the photographer to be aware he was being particularly addressed or was being specifically asked to desist.

It further found there were no grounds to find that the photographer had engaged in intimidation, harassment or persistent pursuit, while Mr Saled did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the supermarket queue.

The complaint was not upheld, and the full adjudication can be read here.

Other recent IPSO cases involving regional newspapers include:

Hayes v Liverpool Echo

Kerry Hayes complained the Liverpool Echo breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in its coverage of her son’s inquest.

She said that it was not the case her son had died shortly after being found by his friend because he had already passed away when he was found and that this inaccuracy had caused her and her family much distress.

The Echo offered its condolences to Ms Hayes for her loss and apologised for any distress caused, but provided notes taken by its reporter at the inquest which stated confirmation of her son’s death came 15 minutes after he was found.

It amended the story accordingly and offered to publish a footnote recording the change it had made, which resolved the matter to the satisfaction of Ms Hayes.

The full resolution statement can be read here.

Dorante-Day v Belfast Telegraph

Simon Charles Dorante-Day complained that the Belfast Telegraph breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) and Clause 12 (Discrimination) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in a comment piece in which the columnist discussed his legal action, which centred on his claims that he was, in fact, the child of the Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales.

Mr Dorante-Day claimed there were several inaccuracies in the column which did not reflect the legal arguments he was making.

Denying a breach of Code, the Bel Tel said it was reporting on claims he had made on social media and not the evidence he had submitted to court, of which it had not had sight.

The complaint was not upheld, and the full adjudication can be read here.