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Complainant Name:
Richard Brown

Clauses Noted: 3, 5

Publication: Lincolnshire Echo

Complaint:

Richard Brown complained to the Press Complaints Commission on behalf of an individual who was the victim of a violent attack in the street. The complainant was concerned that the newspaper had published a picture of the man in question receiving assistance in the immediate aftermath of the incident, which left the weapon embedded in his skull. The complainant believed this represented a breach of Clauses 3 (Privacy) and 5 (Intrusion into grief or shock) of the Editors' Code of Practice.

Resolution:

The complaint was resolved when the newspaper promptly removed the photograph from the online article and apologised privately and publicly to the affected party. The following statement was published on the newspaper's website:

"On this website on September 2, we reported that Matthew Probert from Scunthorpe had been the victim of a serious assault in Lincoln city centre. To illustrate the severity of the incident, we published a photograph of Mr Probert as he was being treated by paramedics shortly afterwards. At the time, we took the view that publishing the photo was in the public interest. However, Mr. Probert and his family have pointed out that publication of the photograph caused him and the wider family significant distress, which we accept. It was never our intention to add to the distress and upset which Mr. Probert and his family suffered at what we now know was a very difficult time for them. Accordingly, we have apologised to the Probert family, and are happy to repeat the apology publicly."

Date Published: 10/12/2013



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