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Complainant Name:
Mrs Helen Hopper

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Northern Echo

Complaint:

Mrs Helen Hopper complained that an article reporting that her husband – a driving instructor – had been acquitted of a sexual assault charge against one of his students was misleading. She said that the article had failed to include the following information about the claimant: that she had accused her previous driving instructor of inappropriate behaviour; that she had telephoned this previous driving instructor minutes before making her complaint about Mr Hopper to the police; and that she had self harmed five days before making the complaint. She also said that the article had misconstrued the references to his flirty language in text messages as they were intended to reflect his open and jokey manner with his customers.

Resolution:

The newspaper said that it could not include every detail given in court and considered its coverage to be fair and accurate. However, the complaint was resolved when the newspaper offered the complainant’s husband the opportunity to contribute to a follow-up article on the perils of being a driving instructor. The newspaper said that such a feature would be another way of underlining his innocence.

Report:

73



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