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Complainant Name:
Mr David Johnson

Clauses Noted: 1, 12

Publication: The Sun


Mr David Johnson complained to the Press Complaints Commission about an article which he considered to have been inaccurate and discriminatory in breach of Clauses 1 (Accuracy) and 12 (Discrimination) of the Editors' Code of Practice.

The article reported that ‘1,200 people [had] been killed by mental patients in a decade'. The complainant noted that almost half of this group had not, in fact, been in contact with mental health services in the twelve months preceding their offence, and were instead classed as having displayed symptoms of mental illness.


The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following correction:

Further to our article ‘1,200 killed by mental patients' (7 October), we would like to make clear that the 1,200 figure related broadly to victims of homicide by people with mental illness. This encompassed both those who were being actively treated at the time of the offences and those who were subsequently judge to have symptoms of mental illness. The Sun recognises that the vast majority of people with mental health problems pose no threat to anybody and are much more likely to take their own life or self-harm than be a risk to others. Since our article we have been in communication with charities such as Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and support their Time to Change initiative. We will continue campaigning to improve treatment of mental health in the UK.

Date Published: 18/11/2013

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