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Complainant Name:
Mr John McLean

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Voice

Complaint:
Mr John McLean of Southall, Middlesex, complained that an article in The Voice "Thats no way to love'er, man!" of 2 July 1996 contained inaccuracies in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Code of Practice.

The article said that Mr McLean, whom it described as a reggae star nicknamed "Loverman", had admitted beating his ex-girlfriend after she ended their relationship and reported on a court hearing of charges in which he admitted common assault after a charge of actual bodily harm was dropped because of lack of evidence. It contained brief comment from the ex-girlfriend.

The complainant said that he had never been called "Loverman" , did not admit to hitting his ex-girlfriend or pleading guilty to assault, that it was he who ended the relationship and that it was untrue to say she "kicked him out of her home" as he had never lived with her. He also said the reported fines were incorrect and that a comment that his career "has stalled" was untrue.

The newspaper said that his record company had confirmed to them that the complainant was nicknamed "Loverman" and asserted that the fines quoted were accurate. The allegations about the couple's relationship and how it ended were, they said, the views of the ex-girlfriend. They said they had tried to get a quote from the complainant at the court and then on his mobile telephone without success but when the complainant later contacted the newspaper they offered an opportunity to reply through a letter. The complainant stood by his complaint. He said that the record company had denied that he was nicknamed "Loverman" and that while the costs and compensation were quoted correctly it was untrue to say he was fined 150.

The Commission asked the newspaper for further comment particularly regarding the fine but in spite of promises to do so it did not respond further to the Commission.

Decision:
Not Upheld

Adjudication:
Although the Commission noted that an opportunity to reply had been offered in the form of a letter it was most concerned that the newspaper had not co-operated fully with the Commissions enquiries despite ample opportunity given to do so. While the Commission did not uphold the complaint under the Code - a remedy was offered although not taken up - it criticised the failure of The Voice to co-operate fully with the Commissions enquiries - as it has had to do before.

Report:
41



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