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Lancashire Post rapped by IPSO over naming of child suspect


The Lancashire Post has been reprimanded by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) after it breached reporting restrictions by naming a child accomplice to a crime.

IPSO has upheld a complaint against the National World-owned Post, which did not have a journalist present in court to cover the case and instead relied on a court register which had listed the child as an accomplice and did not refer to any reporting restrictions in place.

However, it was found the restrictions had been published in a separate area of the register and IPSO sided with the boy’s family on the issue following a complaint and subsequent investigation.

The story in which the boy’s name appeared was a round-up of people who had been convicted at Preston Magistrates Court and described him as an ‘accomplice’ to someone else’s crime. It had appeared online only and was removed two days later.

The boy’s mother said this had caused significant distress to her son and her wider family, adding that identifying him would mean that his peers would be aware of his crime which could lead to social isolation and harassment.

The Post argued that the court register did not refer to any reporting restrictions in place and said this error had been confirmed by the court in both a telephone conversation and an email.

However, it was found that the child’s age and press restriction indicated in relation to the charges against him were available elsewhere the register.

The complaint was upheld and the Post was ordered to publish the adjudication by way of remedial action. 

The Post complied yesterday, under the headline: “Independent Press Standards Organisation upholds Clause 6 and Clause 2 complaint regarding a court report in which reproduced information from a court register

“The complaint was upheld, and IPSO required to publish this adjudication to remedy the breach of the Code.”

Prolific North has contacted National World for further comment.

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