AddThis SmartLayers

Regional title wins right to name dead teen after police breach court order

Mike Taylor 2023A regional news website has won the right to name a dead teenager after fighting an invalid court order that was breached by the police.

Dorset Live successfully challenged a Section 45 order that was wrongly imposed to prevent the identification of Billy Lardner, 16, who died after a collision with a car near Bournemouth Airport earlier this month.

Tyrone Franklin, 25, subsequently appeared in connection with the teenager’s death before Poole magistrates who put the order in place – even though such orders caanot be used to protect the dead.

After the restrictions were imposed, Dorset Police sent media outlets in the county a family tribute to Billy Lardner and his photo, which the force had also shared on its website and social media channels.

Dorset Live senior reporter Mike Taylor, pictured, subsequently contacted the court by telephone to raise the issue and the order was lifted after he made a formal request in writing.

Mike told HTFP: “Our story and other media outlets were then able to publish our versions of the family tribute.

“It was a very bizarre case of legal limbo where Dorset Police inadvertently broke the court order and we and other outlets couldn’t do it and risk being held in contempt of court.

“This was also a legal reminder for all of us about the parameters of an S45 order and how the order cannot be used on a deceased person.

“It was ultimately a case of great teamwork and communication with George Thorpe, Edd Moore and our legal team to ensure we got things right and help get the S45 order lifted.

“But at the centre of this is a beloved teenager who sadly lost his life in a tragic crash. Our thoughts go out to his family at this difficult time.”

Franklin, of Poole, has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and driving without valid insurance.

He was remanded in custody and will appear at Bournemouth Crown Court on 3 August.