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Complainant Name:
A woman

Clauses Noted: 9

Publication: Milton Keynes on Sunday


A woman complained that an article published in Milton Keynes on Sunday on 3 October 1999 headlined "Cocky criminal says goodbye to life of crime" identified her in breach of Clause 10 (Innocent relatives and friends) of the Code of Practice.

The complaint was upheld.

The article reported that a local criminal was renouncing his life of crime and moving to a new area, stating the occupation and full name of his mother.

The complainant said that this constituted an unacceptable invasion into her privacy, by identifying her in breach of the Code. The complainant stressed that she had never given an interview concerning her son's criminal activities or made a related statement in open court.

The newspaper claimed that the nature of the complainant's occupation and her relation to the criminal meant the matter was one of public interest. It stressed that when interviewed the criminal had 'freely offered' the information. It further stated that as the information was volunteered the newspaper would have printed the name and occupation of the relative regardless of the public interest. This the newspaper said was common journalistic practice.



The Commission found no justification of public interest for this clear breach of the Code.


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