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Complainant Name:
The Tucker family

Clauses Noted: 1, 2, 3, 5

Publication: Caribbean Times

Complaint:

The Tucker family complained via solicitors Berryman & Co of Nottingham, that an article published in the Caribbean Times on 19 August 1997, headlined "Dad of six shot dead in 1 row" , was inaccurate in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Code of Practice, failed to distinguish between comment, conjecture and fact in breach of Clause 3 (Comment, conjecture and fact) and that they had not been given the opportunity to reply in breach of Clause 2 (Opportunity to reply). They further complained that publication of the article had intruded into their grief in breach of Clause 10 (Intrusion into grief and shock) and invaded their privacy in breach of Clause 4 (Privacy).

The article reported that the complainants' relative, Costin Tucker, had been shot and killed in Leicester. It quoted a community leader as commenting that it was said that Mr Tucker did not want to pay a 1 entry fee to a party and that his death followed the resulting argument. It also quoted a member of a community centre who said that Mr Tucker " was trying to mend his ways after spending a long time hanging around in groups and being associated with trouble. There was a time when trouble would follow him around" .

The complainants said they had not been contacted for their comments prior to publication. They objected to the description of Mr Tucker's character and said that the reference to the murder being related to the alleged party argument was speculation which had not been proved. They believed that the presentation of the article was insensitive and intrusive.

Decision:
Upheld

Adjudication:

The Commission wrote four letters to the editor requesting his comments on the complaint but did not receive either an acknowledgement or a substantive response.

The Commission did not believe that the reporting of a matter which was clearly in the public interest constituted an invasion of privacy. Neither did it appear that any representative of the newspaper had approached the complainants insensitively. Furthermore, the Commission was concerned that the editor had failed to respond both to its letters and those of the complainants' solicitors. It had no option other than to uphold the complaints under Clauses 1, 2 and 3 against the newspaper.

Report:
42



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