Ruling

Resolution Statement 01499-17 Campbell v Belfast Live

    • Date complaint received

      15th June 2017

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      4 Intrusion into grief or shock

Resolution Statement 01499-17 Campbell v Belfast Live

Summary of complaint

1. Shannon Campbell complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that Belfast Live breached Clause 4 (Intrusion into grief or shock) in an article headlined “Son of murdered Tilly Campbell died without ever coming to terms with her brutal killing”, published on 18 February 2017.

2. The article was a tribute piece for the complainant’s father, and reported that “the son of a pensioner murdered in her home, was buried yesterday by friends who said he had never come to terms with the brutal killing”. The article contained details of the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Campbell’s mother, Tilly Campbell, who was the complainant’s grandmother. 

3. The complainant expressed concern that in a tribute piece for her father, it had been necessary to include details of the circumstances surrounding her grandmother’s death.

4. The newspaper apologised for any offence that was caused and said that it had reported on matters which were in the public domain, given that details surrounding Tilly Campbell’s death had been widely reported at the time. It further said that it was necessary to include this information in the article, in order to explain to readers why it was that the Mr Campbell had been unable to come to terms with his mother’s death.

Relevant Code provisions 

5. 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. 

Mediated outcome

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

7. During IPSO’s investigation of the complaint, the newspaper offered to write the complainant a private letter of regret. 

8. The complainant said this would resolve her complaint to her 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: 20/02/2017

Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 05/05/2017