Press Complaints Commission
spacer spacer
SEARCH FOR     Or try the cases search  
Cases Banner
Making a complaint
Code of Practice Information
Code Advice

Complainant Name:
The father of a 16 year old boy

Clauses Noted: 7

Publication: Evening Standard


The father of a 16 year old boy complained that an article in the Evening Standard of 14 January 1997, identified his son as the accused in a sexual assault case, in breach of Clause 13 (Children in sex cases) of the Code of Practice. The article reported that an MP had won a change in the law to give a right to anonymity to juveniles accused of rape. It cited the complainant's son as an example of someone wrongly accused of rape. His son, now 16, was 15 when accused.

The newspaper said the information was provided by the MP who informed them too late of the family's sensitivity to the use of their son's name. The MP had told them he intended to name the boy as an example in Parliament, and did so the following day.

They added that various newspapers had, in 1995, published the boy's name and photograph as well as comments from his parents and that he had gained a minor celebrity status . They said that the family could not at this stage jump in and out of the public domain at will.

Not Upheld


The Commission had previously upheld complaints about publication of the boy's name in relation to the accusation of sexual offences - despite the fact that the parents had spoken previously on an unconnected matter to the press about their son, and spoken out after accusation to set the record straight. The complainant did not deny the family had accepted payment for this article.

In view of the fact that the newspaper had been made aware of the Member of Parliament's intention to discuss the case in Parliament - which had quite clearly put the boy's name in the public domain - the Commission believed that the newspaper was entitled to publish the name of the complainant's son. The MP's intention to name the boy was clearly known and accepted by the complainant.

The complaint was rejected.


<< Go Back
Home ] Cases ] Site map ]