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Complainant Name:
Mrs M Butler

Clauses Noted: 3

Publication: Coventry Telegraph


Mrs M Butler of Alcester, Warwickshire, complained that a report published in the Coventry Evening Telegraph on 17 June 1997 headlined "Bosses barred after firm folds" concerning her husband, included the family's full address in breach of Clause 4 (Privacy) of the Code of Practice.

The newspaper responded that it had published the address in accordance with its usual style and standard newspaper practice by omitting the complainant's house number. While the editor sympathised he saw no reason why the usual policy should have been altered.

Not Upheld


The Commission noted that the complainant's address in fact contained no house number but instead a house name. As a result, the full address - the house name and the name of the village near Alcester where they lived - had been published in reporting details about the failure of the complainant's husband's business and subsequent debts. The Commission had to consider whether, in the particular circumstances, the inclusion of the full address had intruded into the complainant's privacy.

The Commission noted that since the vicinity in which the complainant lived was so small, whether or not a house name was given, those living in the area would have been aware of the location.

The complaint under Clause 4 was rejected.


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