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Complainant Name:
A woman

Clauses Noted: 9

Publication: The Sun


A woman complained to the Press Complaints Commission that The Sun had published an article which identified her in breach of Clause 9 (Reporting of Crime) of the Editors' Code of Practice in May 2013.

The complaint was upheld.

The newspaper published a feature about the complainant's brother, who had been convicted of a high-profile murder. The article identified the complainant by her first name. She said that she was irrelevant to the crime and should not have been named in the article.

The newspaper did not accept any breach of Clause 9 (Reporting of crime). The article was a background piece on the complainant's brother in which the newspaper tried to give readers an insight into his life and character. His relationship with his family had been discussed in court, and it was clear to the newspaper that this had played a huge part in shaping his life. Although the complainant had not been named in court, reference to the defendant's "sister" had been made. The newspaper had only referred to her by her first name; however, it had removed her name from the online article and offered to send a letter of apology to the complainant.



Clause 9 of the Editors' Code of Practice states that "relatives or friends of persons convicted or accused of crime should not generally be identified without their consent, unless they are genuinely relevant to the story". While the Commission noted that reference had been made to the complainant at her brother's trial, she had not been identified by name during the proceedings. The complainant was an innocent party, irrelevant to her brother's conviction. While her brother's family background might bear some relevance to his crimes and was therefore potentially of public interest, the publication of the complainant's name did not contribute to this. This raised a breach of the Code.

Date Published:

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