Sky News reporter Colin Brazier apologises for snooping in victims' luggage

In an article written in The Guardian, Brazier said that his actions “crossed the boundaries of decency and taste” and were a “serious error of judgment”

Colin Brazier the Sky News reporter who was heavily criticised for rummaging through the luggage of one of the victims of the MH17 has publicly apologised for what he calls a “serious error of judgment”.

In a piece written for The Guardian, Brazier admits that what he did was wrong and “crossed the boundaries of decency and taste”.

He said that good journalism required “empathy” and understanding but sometimes journalists “screw up”, adding that on this occasion “he got things wrong”.

On Sunday Brazier, who was reporting from the wreckage site, was filmed going through the opened luggage of one of the passengers 298 passengers killed on the Malaysia Airlines flight.

The footage shows him lifting items from the suitcase, including a set of car keys and a pink flask that seems to have belonged to one of the  80 child victims to have died last Thursday.

In the footage you can hear Brazier saying as he handles the possessions, that he “shouldn’t really be doing this”.


Following the report, Ofcom received 110 complaints by viewers and there was outrage across social media, with Twitter users calling his actions “insensitive” and in “bad taste”.

In today’s article, Brazier argues that with “no law and order” and “no police to unspool tape and cordon-off sensitive areas” it was a different context from the type of settings that he is used to reporting in and this played some part in his decision.

He also said that he was not the only reporter that had rifled through evidence, but admitted that that he should not have taken the actions of other reporters as a precedent.

Brazier said that the whole experience had deeply affected him and that he “lost it” on air and began to cry shortly afterwards, saying that the pink flask he is seen handling in the footage reminded him of one that belonged to his own six year-old daughter.

The piece also includes a graphic description of the wreckage site.

He describes what he calls a scene from a “horror story”, saying that “movies would not be allowed to show what we saw over the weekend.”

Read more: Families describe horror at chaotic recovery
Remains of some victims may have been 'vaporised'
Blogger 'catches footage of missile launch'

He referred to the Bradford football stadium that he was a witness to at the age of 17, but said even that “had nothing” on the scenes he saw in south eastern Ukraine.

Brazier has previously won awards for his journalism, including a nomination for presenter of the year at Royal Television Society Awards.

He is also attributed as being the first British journalist to enter Iraq with British troops during the 2003 invasion.


Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living