Resolution Statement Complaint 07745-16 Sim v Romsey Advertiser

    • Date complaint received

      6th October 2016

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy

Resolution Statement Complaint 07745-16 Sim v Romsey Advertiser

Summary of complaint

1. Nicolas Sim complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the Romsey Advertiser breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “Andrew Sealey jailed after trying to meet children for sex at Paulton’s Park”, published on 8 April 2016.

2. The article reported that a paedophile had been jailed for 40 months for arranging to meet children at a theme park. It said that the convicted man ran a blog on the Theme Park Tourist website.

3. The complainant, the owner of the website, said that while the convicted man was previously a user who had registered his details on the website, he did not run a blog on the website.

4. The newspaper said that it had been told by a police officer that the convicted man ran a blog on the website. It said that following the sentencing hearing, the information had been checked by its reporter, who had viewed comments made by the convicted man on the website. It said that the comments he had left on the website could be categorised as a blog, albeit not a substantial one. 

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 clarification in the newspaper, online,  and as a footnote to the original article online, in order to resolve the complaint:

In a report carried in this paper into the sentencing of Andrew Sealey who admitted engaging in a text message conversations involving sexual activity he believed to be 14 or 15, it was stated he ran a clog on the website Theme Park Tourist. We wish to clarify that although Sealey did leave limited comments as part of his registration details on the site, he did not run a blog. We are happy to clarify this point.

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: 6/8/2016
Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 19/9/2016