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Complainant Name:
Katie Butcher

Clauses Noted: 3, 5

Publication: East Grinstead Courier & Observer

Complaint:

Katie Butcher complained about two articles that reported on a car accident in which her brother had been killed. She was distressed to read that the article contained quotations from the tributes that had been left at the scene of the accident by family members. The complainant also raised concerns about the approach made by the newspaper’s reporter, the manner of which she considered persistent.

The complainant also raised concerns about a published photograph of her wedding day. She requested further information about from where the picture had been obtained.

Resolution:

The newspaper emphasised that the tributes were in a public place and were therefore in the public domain. The editor defended the actions of its reporter arguing that he had asked her to telephone the family to give them a final chance to make a tribute. The newspaper also explained that the photograph had been obtained from a Myspace tribute site which had since been removed.

That said, the editor of the newspaper assured the complainant that the inquest report would not be treated in any way differently for her having made a complaint through the PCC. The complainant agreed to resolve her complaint on that basis and through the publication of a summary of it on the PCC website.

Report: 76



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