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Complainant Name:
Mr Gordon Bell

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Evening Chronicle (Newcastle Upon Tyne)

Complaint:

Mr Gordon Bell of Alberta, Canada complained that an article which reported the outcome of testing conducted at the Minstry of Defence’s chemical and biological warfare site at Porton Down contained inaccuracies.

Resolution:

The complaint was resolved when the newspaper published the following correction: “On 29 May 2006, the Chronicle recalled the events leading to the family of RAF serviceman Ronald Maddison receiving compensation for his death during a test at the Ministry of Defence's chemical and biological warfare site at Porton Down. The feature referred to Gordon Bell, who presented a file to Wiltshire Police calling for an investigation into the testing. The article incorrectly referred to Mr Bell as George Bell, for which we apologise. The article also said Mr Maddison received £15 following the test, which should have read 15 shillings, and that three other servicemen were involved in the testing, which should have read five. Mr Bell has also pointed out that Sarin GB, rather than Sarin B, was used in the test. In addition, our article said that 14 days extra leave was given to those subject to experiment. Mr Bell states that there is no evidence to suggest that 14 days leave was ever given. After he left Porton Down he was allowed to have a 48 hour pass. Mr Bell also questioned the article’s claim that "others like Maddison lost their lives" despite its earlier statement that Mr Maddison was the only person to die in the trials. The relatives of other servicemen involved are reported as believing the tests have caused other premature deaths. We are happy to clarify the situation”.

Report: 73



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