Ruling

Resolution Statement: Complaint 04970-15 Doherty v Daily Mirror

    • Date complaint received

      7th September 2015

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy

Resolution Statement: Complaint 04970-15 Doherty v Daily Mirror

Summary of complaint

1. Mike Doherty complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the Daily Mirror had breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “OAP couple’s suicide pact over ill wife and gypsy site”, published on 9 April 2015. 

2. The complainant expressed concern that the article inaccurately suggested that a man had taken his own life as a direct result of plans to install caravans on land nearby his house. 

3. The newspaper noted that it would not be possible for anyone to really know the thoughts of the man who had taken his life. Nonetheless, it offered to publish the following clarification with regard to evidence heard at the inquest into the man’s death, and to amend the headline of the online article in response to the complainant’s concerns: 

Following our article of 9 April “OAP couple’s suicide pact over ill wife and gypsy site” concerning the deaths of John Knott and his wife Anne, we would like to clarify that their friend Mrs Keatley did not state at the inquest that Mr Knott was “at the end of his tether” over the plans to install caravans on nearby land. She stated that although Mr Knott was concerned about the proposal, the plans were of little consequence in comparison with his concerns over his wife’s illness. We apologise for any concern caused. 

Relevant Code Provisions

4. 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. 

Mediated outcome

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 amend the headline of the online article, and to publish a clarification in print and online. 

7. The complainant said that this would resolve the matter to his 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: 11/08/2015

Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 07/09/2015