Topless photos of murdered woman cause outrage: Victim's MP reports 'Sun' to press watchdog

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The Independent Online
AN MP has reported the Sun to the Press Complaints Commission for printing topless pictures of a young chambermaid who was murdered in Devon last week.

Photographs of Sandra Parkinson, 22, from Stevenston, near Glasgow, showing her topless and wearing a lacy corset and suspenders, were printed in the newspaper on Saturday, three days after she was brutally raped and strangled in an unprovoked attack.

Her body was found on Thursday after she failed to arrive for her evening shift at the Grafton Towers hotel, near Salcombe, south Devon, where she was working for the summer season. She had been dragged through brambles and dumped 45 feet off a path leading down a wooded cliff to the sea.

The Sun claimed Miss Parkinson had asked her mother to take pictures of her topless and then hired a photographer to produce a portfolio to help her become a Page Three girl. It added: 'Her modelling ambitions were revealed by an ex-boyfriend, a 42-year- old car dealer, who asked not to be identified.'

It did not reveal if, or how much, the paper had paid the man who said he had dated Miss Parkinson four years ago.

Her MP, Brian Donohoe, for Cunninghame South, immediately reported the Sun to the Press Complaints Commission.

Yesterday her brothers, who are in Devon helping police build a profile of their sister, said they were disgusted.

Graham Parkinson, 33, a lorry driver from Paisley, said: 'The pictures that were in the paper were taken when she was a lot younger and when she was just a silly wee girl. I think she probably thought it was a bit of harmless fun, but I am very disappointed it has been printed so soon after her death.

'We would prefer for the press to help the police catch the killer because this is going to happen again if he is not caught. I used to read the Sun because of its support for nationalism, but I wouldn't look at it now. They can stuff their newspaper.'

Gary Parkinson, 35, a supply officer at RAF Leuchars, said: 'My sister was a very good looking girl, but the story itself has nothing to do with the murder. They have just glamorised a pretty young girl because she was murdered. I would like to speak to the reporter so he can tell us where the photograph came from. We would like a word with the man who supplied it.'

Last night the Sun refused to comment about the affair.