Journalists lose appeal over ban on naming child-killers

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The Independent Online
TWO JOURNALISTS yesterday lost their appeal against a court order banning the media from identifying a pair of child killers.

The couple were convicted at the Old Bailey in February of the manslaughter of their 15-month- old son, who died in a urine- soaked pram at the family's north London home in March 1993. The father, who was also convicted of cruelty to three of his other children, was jailed for seven years; the mentally handicapped mother was put on probation after the jury recommended mercy.

The order preventing the baby or his parents being named was imposed by Judge Geoffrey Grigson QC, at the request of Islington social services, with the aim of protecting the six surviving children who are now in its care.

Lord Justice Glidewell, sitting in the Court of Appeal, said they entirely agreed with freelance reporters, Tim Crook and Caroline Godwin, that as a general proposition there was a strong and proper public interest in knowing the identity of those who had committed crimes, 'particularly serious and detestable crimes'. But in this particular case, the court view was that the decision Judge Grigson reached was 'clearly correct'.