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Complainant Name:
Mr Kingsley Ekaette

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: South London Press


Mr Kingsley Ekaette of London SE8 complained that a report carried by the South London Press on 22 December 1995 headlined "Fatal Knifing in Rush-Hour" about the death of his son, Ubong Ekaette, inaccurately stated that the boy was away from home for 10 days prior to his death, in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Code of Practice, and that the further published piece on 7 June 1996 headlined "Court set for decision over trial" was an inadequate correction under Clause 1 (ii) of the Code.



The Commission noted that the editor offered a further article to update the story together with a correction and apology for the inaccuracy; while the complainant required, inter alia, further clarification as to the source of the inaccurate information that was published and also alleged a harsh motive on the part of the editor in failing to correct the piece sooner, the editor published a short correction clarifying that the complainant's son was with his family up until the day he was killed, accompanied by an apology for any distress caused by the mistake.

Whenever it is recognised that a significant inaccuracy has been published, Clause 1 (ii) of the Code requires it should be corrected promptly and with due prominence. Further under Clause 1 (iii) an apology should be published whenever appropriate.

The Commission considered that publication of a correction and apology nearly six months after the original report, and below a story about the committal proceedings of the man charged with the murder, was an inadequate remedy within the terms of Clause 1 (ii) of the Code. The adequacy of the correction and apology was further diminished by a mis-spelling of the victim's name, doubtless causing more distress. In the view of the Commission the apology was an inadequate response under Clause 1 (iii) of the Code.

The complaint was upheld.


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