DailyRecord.co.uk published two articles online which caused a man to complain to the Independent Press Standards Organisation and identified that they breached Clause (Victims of Sexual Assault) of the Editors’ Code of Practice.
Clause 11 requires that the press must not identify victims of sexual assault or publish material that could lead to the identification of the victims unless there is justification that they are free to do so, legally.
As a result, they were found to be in breach of Clause 11, and were ordered to publish this article for their actions.
Because they provided specific details from the court hearings regarding a man that pleaded guilty to sex offences against a child and that he was sentenced to jail, the publication failed to protect the identify of the victim.
IPSO’s Complaints Committee made clear that the newspaper was entitled to report on this case, and to identify the defendant, in accordance with the principle of open justice.
However, Clause 11 of the Editors’ Code requires that, in doing so, it did not publish material likely to contribute to the identification of the victim.
The Committee considered that the detail the articles contained about the circumstances in which the defendant committed some of the offences could only reasonably be applied to a relatively narrow class of individuals.
When reported alongside the age of the victim, and the timeframes for the offences, these details, represented material which was likely to contribute to the identification of the victim.
The complaint was therefore upheld as a breach of Clause 11.