Resolution Statement – 06836-20 Greens v Daily Record
Summary of Complaint
1. Robert Greens complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the Daily Record breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “DA VINCI RAPIST IS FREE FOR ONE DAY”, published on 18 May 2020.
2. The article reported on a prisoner who was returned to prison during day release. The article said that the prisoner had met another male sex offender and “had managed to grab a few minutes together in the toilets”. It said that the “tryst” had been discovered through messages on an undeclared mobile phone and that “explicit phone messages” had “made it clear there had been a sexual relationship” between the two men.
3. The complainant has said that this was inaccurate in breach of Clause 1 as he was not gay, had not been caught in a toilet with another man, nor had he ever owned a secret phone or sent explicit text messages to another man.
4. The publication said it did not accept a breach of the Code as it had presented information as a quote from a source, and was confident the information was accurate.
Relevant Code Provisions
5. Clause 1 (Accuracy)
i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information or images, including headlines not supported by the text.
ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and — where appropriate — an apology published. In cases involving IPSO, due prominence should be as required by the regulator.
iii) A fair opportunity to reply to significant inaccuracies should be given, when reasonably called for.
iv) The Press, while free to editorialise and campaign, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.
6. The complaint was not resolved through direct correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore began an investigation into the matter.
7. The publication offered to delete the article.
8. The complainant said that this would resolve the matter to his satisfaction.
9. 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: 27/05/2020
Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 05/08/2020Back to ruling listing