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Complainant Name:
Miss Karen Le Doux

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Sentinel (Staffordshire)

Complaint:

Miss Karen Le Doux of Staffordshire explained that the newspaper had reported an incident involving an assault on a teenage boy which had resulted in a warning for her son. Although her son was not named in the article, the complainant said that it was inaccurate in the following ways: the attack was not ‘unprovoked’; the attack was not filmed; and her son was not part of a ‘gang’.

Resolution:

The newspaper responded that it had clarified in a follow-up article that the police had found no evidence to support that the incident had been filmed. However, the complaint was resolved when the newspaper agreed to publish the following letter: I write in response to an article ‘Teenager is victim of happy slapping’ that was published on 08 August. As father of the accused, I was disturbed by the original report of the incident that happened in Hanley Forest Park. Firstly I would like to make clear that I do not condone violence and have been left shocked and disappointed by my son’s involvement in such a incident. Such behaviour is no reflection of his character or upbringing; he immediately recognised he had handled the situation in an unacceptable manner. As a family, we would like to offer our sincere apologies to Marcus. However, I do want to make clear that there are two sides to every story: from our point of view, the incident was neither ‘unprovoked,’ nor part of a ‘happy slapping’ attack and our son is not in a gang. The police investigation found no evidence to support any allegations that the incident was filmed on mobile phones. Finally, I would be willing to sign the petition calling for CCTV cameras to be installed in the park.

Report: 73



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