Resolution Statement Complaint 03155-16 Wells v Daily Record
Summary of complaint
1. Laura Wells complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the Daily Record breached Clause 2 (Privacy), Clause 4 (Intrusion into grief or shock) and Clause 9 (Reporting of crime) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an online article headlined “Cop cleared of pushing wife down stairs and punching friend was warned by police over friendship with rapist”, published on 24 May 2016.
2. The complainant expressed concern that the newspaper had identified her as a friend of a policeman who had been cleared of assault, when she had no relevance to the story. The article had included her maiden name and photograph.
3. The newspaper said that it was sorry that the article had caused the complainant concern, but it considered that she was genuinely relevant to the story. Nevertheless, it removed her name and photograph from the article.
Relevant Code provisions
4. Clause 2 (Privacy)
i) Everyone is entitled to respect for his or her private and family life, home, health and correspondence, including digital communications.
ii) Editors will be expected to justify intrusions into any individual's private life without consent. Account will be taken of the complainant's own public disclosures of information.
Clause 4 (Intrusion into grief or shock)
In cases involving personal grief or shock, enquiries and approaches must be made with sympathy and discretion and publication handled sensitively. These provisions should not restrict the right to report legal proceedings.
Clause 9 (Reporting of crime)
i) Relatives or friends of persons convicted or accused of crime should not generally be identified without their consent, unless they are genuinely relevant to the story.
5. The complaint was not resolved through direct correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore began an investigation into the matter.
6. The newspaper offered to write a private letter of apology to the complainant.
7. The complainant said that the letter would resolve the matter to her satisfaction.
8. As the complaint was successfully mediated, the Complaints Committee did not make a determination as to whether there had been any breach of the Code.
Date complaint received: 26/05/2016
Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 28/07/2016
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