Ex-councillor fails to suppress story about being drunk in supermarket in charge of daughter


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The Independent Online

A Labour councillor fined £100 after admitting being drunk in a supermarket while in charge of her two-year-old daughter has lost a High Court anonymity fight.

Tess Gandy, 35, who was a district councillor in Lowestoft, Suffolk, wanted an order which would have prevented the little girl – and her – being identified.

But two judges ruled against Gandy, who had previously been cautioned for a similar offence, after the Eastern Daily Press and The Lowestoft Journal argued that freedom of speech and open justice should prevail.

Judges said the public had an "undeniable" interest in learning how Gandy, who has now resigned from Waveney District Council, had behaved.

They described Gandy's arguments that her daughter might suffer "distress" if the case were fully reported as "highly speculative" and "doubtful".

Nigel Pickover, editor-in-chief of the Eastern Daily Press, said: "At a time when some politicians are trying to bring in controls on Britain's press by statute, it is gratifying to see [the High Court] protect our right to report a court case which contains important information in the public interest."

Gandy told the Eastern Daily Press that she had been suffering severe post-natal depression and added: "I deeply regret the incident last year."