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Complainant Name:
Mr Stuart Lord

Clauses Noted: 4, 10

Publication: Sunday Mirror

Complaint:
Mr Stuart Lord of Devon complained that his address had been obtained through subterfuge. He said he was contacted by somebody alleging to work for National Insurance, who had asked for his address and other information regarding a potential rebate. Shortly afterwards he spotted, and then confronted, a journalist allegedly hiding in a car outside his home – the whereabouts of which had not previously been known to newspapers even though he had been the subject of much attention. He said that this unwanted contact at his home, following earlier phone calls from the same journalist, constituted harassment since he had made it clear he had nothing to say to the newspaper.

Resolution:
The editor of the newspaper said she had been reassured that none of her staff had been involved in the alleged subterfuge. She also denied there had been harassment, suggesting that the contact with the complainant at his home had been different in nature to earlier calls. Mr Lord remained astonished at the coincidence of the National Insurance approach – which was not followed up and which came from a phone number that when called back went unanswered – and the subsequent appearance of a journalist outside his home. However, he considered the case resolved insofar as the PCC’s investigation was concerned.

Report: 72



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