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Complainant Name:
The wife of a convicted paedophile complained through solicitors

Clauses Noted: 9

Publication: Regional Sunday


The wife of a convicted paedophile complained through solicitors that an article concerning local community fears about her husband's release from prison published in a regional Sunday newspaper during February 1997, named her and her children who are under sixteen years of age, in breach of Clause 11 (Innocent relatives and friends) of the Code of Practice.

The article was one of a series on a double-page spread, all concerning the problems posed on the release of convicted paedophiles.

The editor accepted that there had been a breach of Clause 11 of the Code, which he sincerely regretted. He tried to resolve the matter by writing to the complainant's solicitors admitting the breach and giving his sincere apologies for inadvertently including the names of the complainant's family. In his letter he assured the solicitors that it was not the newspaper's policy to breach the Code in this way and that great pains were taken in that edition's coverage of the child abuse issue not to identify any innocent parties. He regretted sincerely any distress to the complainant's family. Steps had been taken to ensure that no similar error occurred and the editor also offered to carry something in the newspaper regarding the family.

However, the complainant was not satisfied with the editors comments.



The Commission noted the editors admission of a breach of Clause 11 of the Code and shared his sincere regret at this very serious breach of the Code. It also appeared to the Commission that the editor had done all he could to ameliorate the situation in the circumstances, including taking steps to avoid repetition. However, the complaint was upheld.


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