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Complainant Name:
Mr David Bryce

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Sunday Mail


Mr David Bryce, Director of Calton Athletic Recovery Group, Glasgow, complained that an article published in the Sunday Mail on 6 June 1999, headlined "Anti-drug boss sells his house", contained inaccuracies in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Code of Practice.

The complaint was upheld.

The complainant's group provides a drugs recovery programme for addicts and drug awareness service for schools. The article reported that he had sold his house "months after the anti-drugs group was axed" and was living with relatives.

The complainant said that the most important inaccuracy was the statement that the group had "closed its doors". In fact the group was still operating. He said that he was still Director - not the "former boss"; that he was not living with relatives in a council house in Glasgow; that he was not 50; that he had never been a gang leader as described; and that he had never lived in Baillieston. Lastly, although the article stated that he had been unavailable for comment, he had in fact offered his comments to the reporter some time before the story appeared.

The newspaper, published under a former editor, said that the complainant had lodged an industrial tribunal claim that he had been unfairly dismissed from the post of Director. The address that he had given in that action was housing association property known locally as the "council houses" but they would be happy to publish an explanation of the situation. He also appeared on the electoral roll for a house in Baillieston. They said that they would be happy to correct his age and clarify that, while he was a member of a notorious gang, he had not been the leader. They offered to publish a correction making clear that Calton Athletic was still operating with the complainant as Director.



The Commission noted that the newspaper, under a previous editor, was prepared to publish a correction regarding the complainant's main concern that Calton Athletic was still operating and also to correct some minor points. However, it was apparent that the complainant had spoken to the reporter prior to publication and had made the situation clear regarding the group's continued operation. In these circumstances the Commission did not believe that the correction which had been offered two months after publication was sufficient to remedy this breach of the Code.


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