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Complainant Name:
Ms Denise Welch, Mr Tim Healy

Clauses Noted: 9

Publication: Press Association


Ms Denise Welch and Mr Tim Healy complained that a news item issued by the Press Association breached Clause 10 (Innocent relatives and friends) of the Code of Practice.

The complaint was upheld.

The news item reported that the couple was related to an individual who was to be tried for alleged crimes which he had denied. The Managing Editor of the Press Association accepted that the Code had been 'inadvertently' breached and apologised both to the Commission and personally to the complainants. He said that those involved had been reminded of their responsibilities with regard to the Code and of the PA's own stringent guidelines.



The Commission agreed with the complainants and the news agency that the report had breached Clause 10 of the Code and was pleased that the agency had swiftly acknowledged the error and sought to remedy it as soon as possible. However, as there was no public interest for mentioning the complainants - who had no connection with the alleged crimes and whose names had not previously been placed in the public domain - the complaint was upheld. The Commission noted that the trial is yet to take place and took this opportunity to remind all editors of their responsibilities under the Code, which should be strictly adhered to, in any future reporting of the case.


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