'Sunday Times' wrong on Dermot Desmond, says watchdog
Published 01/06/2014 | 02:30
The Sunday Times has been admonished by the Press Ombudsman over a 2012 article about businessman Dermot Desmond.
The Ombudsman decided that the action by the newspaper in publishing a letter from Mr Desmond was insufficient to remedy a significant inaccuracy in the article published on December 16 that year.
The Ombudsman said the newspaper was in breach of Principle 1 (Truth and Accuracy) of the Code of Practice for Newspapers and Magazines.
However, the Ombudsman decided not to uphold Mr Desmond's complaint about other aspects of this article or about the editing of his letter in other respects.
The Press Ombudsman also decided that the publication had taken sufficient action to resolve a complaint about a subsequent article published on December 23, and that another inaccuracy complained of in relation to that article was not significant enough to warrant a decision that it was a breach of the Code.
In a letter submitted for publication and published in an edited form on December 23, 2012, Mr Desmond complained – among other things – that the article on December 16 had purported to describe his presence at a function the previous week, and stated that he was "in town" to accept an award, whereas he had not only been out of the country on the day in question, but the function had not even taken place.
The newspaper told the Office of the Press Ombudsman that it had obtained the date of the function from the website of the function's organisers.