Ruling

Resolution statement 00966-17 A man v Kent Online

    • Date complaint received

      6th April 2017

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      2 Privacy, 9 Reporting of crime

Resolution Statement 00966-17 A man v Kent Online 

Summary of complaint

1. A man complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that Kent Online breached Clause 2 (Privacy), Clause 3 (Harassment) and Clause 9 (Reporting of crime) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article published on 2 February 2017 

2. The article reported that the complainant’s son had admitted killing a 10-year-old child and his aunt in a car accident while he was being chased by police. It included detail of the value of the complainant’s house, the companies the complainant owned, as well as reporting that were three cars in the driveway of the house. It also reported the complainant had not seen his son for 16 years.

3. The complainant said linking him to his son in the context of his court case breached Clause 9 as he was not genuinely relevant to the story. He also said that by reporting the value of his house, and the cars he owned, the article breached Clause 2.

4. The newspaper accepted that it had breached Clause 9 of the Code. It said that the story was supplied to the publication by a reputable news agency. It said that it took full responsibility for publishing the story, and said that this was not done with the required care and attention.  

Relevant Code Provisions

5. 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 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.

ii) Particular regard should be paid to the potentially vulnerable position of children who witness, or are victims of, crime. This should not restrict the right to report legal proceedings.

Mediated outcome

6. The complaint was not resolved through correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore began an investigation into the matter.

7. In order to resolve the complaint, the publication agreed to remove all mention of the complainant from the article. It also apologised to the complainant for any distress or suffering caused to him or his family by publication of the article.

8. The complainant said this action resolved 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: 03/02/2017
Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 22/03/2017