Newspapers 'defy law' in reports about boy suspect: Contempt charges sought after publication of name and photo
Wednesday 09 June 1993
Legal representatives said the case against their client, a 16-year-old boy who is on the run after escaping from a hostel in west London, had been 'seriously prejudiced' by reports in the Sun and the Evening Standard, jeopardising his chances of a fair trial.
Mike Snow, of Farrell, Matthews and Weir, the firm acting for the boy, has also asked police to prosecute. He said yesterday: 'The behaviour of these two papers has been deplorable. There is no excuse for it because it is in everyone's interest that my client receives a fair trial.'
Senior police are believed to have wanted to publicise the boy's name and picture to assist their search following his escape but were hampered by Section 49 of the 1933 Children and Young Persons Act which dictates that people under 18 involved in criminal proceedings should remain anonymous.
Michael Howard, the Home Secretary, is empowered to use his discretion to relax the rule, but only for the benefit of the young person. The public interest is not taken into account.
On Monday, the Evening Standard published an article drawing attention to the paper's inability to name the escaped youth and quoted Mr Howard as saying that he would be reviewing the law 'as a matter of urgency'. Yesterday morning, the Sun published the boy's name and photograph. It said it had decided to break the law because a senior police official had said he was 'very dangerous'.
The Standard then abandoned its previously circumspect approach and published a colour photograph of the boy, next to an interview with the aunt of a murder victim. It claimed in a leading article to be acting within the law.
Stewart Steven, editor of the Standard, said the paper had taken the advice of a QC that it could 'on balance' publish the name and stay within the law. Stuart Higgins, deputy editor of the Sun, said he believed his paper acted in the public interest.
Matt Smith is set to join cast of Jane Austen classic - with a twist
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 'Necrophilia-obsessed' girl among double murder accused in three-way sex case
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked next, threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: KS2 teacher required ...
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Randstad Education Group: To work as part of the Le...
£100 - £110 per day + Travel scheme plus free professional trainnig: Randstad ...
£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Are you a qualified secondary...