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Complainant Name:
Mr Patrick Gray

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Oxford Mail


Mr Patrick Gray complained that the newspaper had published a misleading image in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors' Code of Practice. The complainant considered that his image had been cut out and presented in a manner which had suggested that he had posed outside a sex shop; a scene which had not taken place and which had been published against his expressed wishes.


The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following wording in the newspaper and in a letter to the complainant:

On August 20, 2013 the Oxford Mail published a story regarding the response of Patrick Gray to Oxford City Council about the licence renewal of the Private shop in Cowley Road and claims this establishment or its existence was linked to the recent Bullfinch child sexual exploitation case.

He was quoted in the article stating that there had been no evidence produced that has ever linked the establishment to the criminal offending by the Bullfinch defending.

Mr Gray's reason for sending his response to the council was not because he is in favour of the shop but because he believes in freedom of expression and is opposed to censorship.

Mr Gray posed for a picture with his letter at his home, having said he did not wish to pose outside the shop. This information was unknown to the staff producing the page and they decided to cut out Mr Gray and use the Private shop as a background. This is an industry practice to illustrate two elements of a story and was not intended to suggest that Mr Gray was in fact standing outside the shop.

However, Mr Gray is concerned that people might think that he was, and the Oxford Mail is happy to clarify that he did not pose outside the shop, and is not associated with nor endorses the premises. His view was that he was not willing to take a position as to the merits of the shop, just that he is opposed to censorship of activities that are permitted under law.

Date Published: 04/10/2013

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