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Complainant Name:
Mr Chris Ryder

Clauses Noted: 9

Publication: News of the World


Mr Chris Ryder of Portavogie, Co. Down, complained that in an article in the News of the World on 6th September 1998 regarding a police caution given to his son he was identified contrary to Clause 10 (Innocent Relative and Friends) of the Code of Practice.

The newspaper sought to justify naming the father on public interest grounds that he was a former member of a police authority and that the connection had been acknowledged by his son in a TV interview and was therefore in the public domain.



The Commission decided that there was a breach of the Code - the wording of which appears to preclude a mention of a relationship already in the public domain without a public interest justification. However, it decided not to censure the newspaper as the article had not concentrated on the relationship between the complainant and his son and the relationship was already in the public domain. The Commission also noted that the newspaper had offered to try and resolve the dispute, which the complainant had rejected.

The Commission has asked the Code of Practice Committee to look at this adjudication and consider whether there needs to be an amendment to the Code particularly taking into account the public domain defence contained in Section 12 of the Human Rights Acts 1998.


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