Resolution Statement Complaint 02460-16 Coutts v Daily Mirror

    • Date complaint received

      28th July 2016

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy

Complaint 02460-16 Coutts v Daily Mirror

Summary of complaint

1. Graham Coutts complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the Daily Mirror breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “Killer to sue over ‘delayed hospital trip’”, published on 14 December 2015.

2. The article reported that the complainant, a convicted murderer, was seeking compensation after having a suspected panic attack in prison. It said that he claimed he was “made to wait an hour with chest pains before being taken to hospital in handcuffs”.

3. The complainant said that it was inaccurate to report that he was seeking compensation for a suspected panic attack. He had suffered a heart attack, and said that the newspaper should have been aware of the inaccuracy as his blog, which the article had referred to, contained all the facts about the incident.

4. The newspaper denied that its report was inaccurate. It said that the complainant had confirmed in his blog that a nurse had diagnosed him with anxiety, and based on that diagnosis, it did not believe that it was inaccurate to describe the incident as it had.

Relevant Code provisions

5. Clause 1 (Accuracy)

(i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.

(ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and - where appropriate - an apology published. In cases involving the Regulator, prominence should be agreed with the Regulator in advance.

Mediated outcome

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

7. The publication agreed to publish the following correction on page 2 of the newspaper in order to resolve the complaint:

On 14 December last year we reported that Graham Coutts was planning "to sue over [a] 'delayed hospital trip'" after having a "suspected panic attack in jail". We have been asked to make clear that while he was initially diagnosed with anxiety, it was later confirmed that Mr Coutts had suffered a heart attack.

8. The complainant said this correction 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: 14/04/2016
Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 11/07/2016