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Complainant Name:
Mr Mike Bibb

Clauses Noted: 3, 6, 9

Publication: Weston & Somerset Mercury


Mr Mike Bibb of North Somerset complained through solicitors that an article published on May 14 1999 in the Weston and Somerset Mercury headlined "School drug find - three suspended" referred to him in breach of Clause 10 (Innocent relatives and friends), invaded his privacy in breach of Clause 3 (Privacy) and reported details about his daughter in breach of Clause 6 (Children) of the Code of

The complaint was upheld

The article, which did not name his daughter, identified the complainant and said that a member of the public had questioned his suitability as a primary school governor. The complainant said that he had two daughters at the school and both had now been suspected of involvement with drugs.

The editor said that the newspaper did not know that the complainant had two daughters at the school and justified the complainant's inclusion in the article on the grounds that he had a high local profile obtained through numerous positions of local responsibility. Many people in the rural community, which was served by the small-circulation edition in which the article appeared, would already have known the details of the incident.



The Commission could not discern how the public interest was served by the complainant's inclusion in the article. There was no evidence that while pursuing his public duties the complainant had made any reference to the drugs issue or had any responsibility for such problems. The Commission considered that the article could have been written without mentioning the complainant and it further regretted the attention that would undoubtedly have befallen both of the complainant's daughters as a result.


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