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Complainant Name:
Richard Graham

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: News of the World


Richard Graham complained to the Press Complaints Commission on behalf of Abacus Limited, which provides members of the armed forces with military insurance, that the newspaper had inaccurately claimed that a soldier injured in Afghanistan had had an insurance payout "stopped" by Abacus after he carried the Carling Cup on to the pitch at Wembley. A telephone call reported in the article had been made by AXA Insurance, not Abacus as reported, and it had been a normal request for an update on his progress, not an announcement that his insurance payment would be "axed". The complainant also took the view that it was misleading that the newspaper had not mentioned that the soldier had already received a substantial payment in relation to his injuries.


The newspaper said that it had relied on information from the soldier involved and a source at the medical facility treating him. It said it had also made significant efforts to contact the complainant for comment before publication and had included his remarks in the article.

The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated for the removal of the article from the newspaper's website and publication of a follow-up story in the newspaper and on the newspaper's website. The article made clear that the soldier had received a further payment and carried the following correction at its foot:

In an April 4 article we wrongly stated that Abacus had stopped Dave's payout after his Wembley appearance. We are now advised that his rehabilitation team was contacted by policy underwriters Axa, not Abacus, for a normal progress update.

The newspaper also placed a warning note on the article on its library files flagging up the inaccuracies in the original report and cross-referencing it with the follow-up article and correction.

Date Published: 23/07/2010

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