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Complainant Name:
Mr Brian Meager

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Echo (Basildon)


Mr Brian Meager complained to the Press Complaints Commission - on behalf of his daughter Marilyn Meager - that an article reporting a sentencing hearing following her guilty plea to a charge of failing to control a dangerous dog in a public place had contained inaccuracies which sensationalised the incident and presented her in an unfavourable and negative manner.


The complaint was resolved when the PCC helped to negotiate publication of the following correction:

ON January 5, the Echo carried a report of a case heard at Basildon Crown Court headlined "Owner of vicious dog avoids prison" in which it was incorrectly stated that the attack took place in a public park. In fact, the incident took place on a footpath, used by all members of the community, leading to a supermarket.

The report also said there was blood dripping from the dog's teeth. Although it was said in court there was blood on the dog's teeth around its mouth and on its body, it was not established in court that blood was dripping from the teeth.

The story also said a chihuahua attacked by the dangerous dog needed lifesaving surgery. This was incorrect. Although the dog needed an emergency procedure, it is not certain it would have died from its injuries.

The Echo apologises for the errors and any distress caused.

Date Published: 07/04/2010

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