Spotted this interesting report on the journalism trade website, Press Gazette, earlier this week. The Croydon Advertiser‘s former editor, Ian Carter, has been cleared of any offence over a report in the paper in September 2008 about a teenager involved in a Youth Court case.
The Advertiser ran an interview with a teen who’d been victim of a stabbing, and who had given evidence in the Youth Court. Access to Youth Court proceedings for the public, and the media, are tightly controlled. The CPS argued that the Advertiser story broke reporting restrictions that banned identification of the youth.
The judge, Suzanne Byrne, dismissed the CPS’s case quite abruptly, saying: “I find that this article was not one to which section 49 of the act relates as it is not a report of the proceedings in the Youth Court.” You can read the rest of the judge’s ruling in the PG story.
A couple of points of interest.
- Great to see the CPS covering itself in glory in the pursuit of some real criminal activity.
- While the paper’s editor obviously takes ultimate responsibility for anything that appears in his newspaper, it seems a little odd that the PG report makes no mention of the reporter who got the interview, nor the Advertiser news editor of the time who cleared the piece for publication. Inside Croydon is aware that at least two of those concerned in the publication of the story are no longer working in Croydon.
- Carter was represented legally by the same lawyers who originally checked the article prior to publication. The CPS has been ordered to meet all of Carter’s and the Advertiser‘s legal costs. Had the paper lost, these costs would have been met by its legal insurance. Inside Croydon understands that the Croydon Advertiser, in another brilliant piece of cost-cutting, no longer has a legal insurance policy.