Saturday 29 April 2017

Court report complaint is rejected

The ombudsman said the newspaper was fully entitled to report on proceedings that had taken place in open court (Stock picture)
The ombudsman said the newspaper was fully entitled to report on proceedings that had taken place in open court (Stock picture)
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

The Press Ombudsman has said the media has a full entitlement to publish the names of witnesses in court cases unless there are reporting restrictions.

The decision came after a man who gave evidence in a case claimed he had been put in danger of reprisals by a report in the 'Limerick Leader'.

Press Ombudsman Peter Feeney decided not to uphold a complaint made by Simon Preston about the report.

The newspaper named Mr Preston and said he had witnessed the threatening behaviour of a convicted man towards a neighbour.

Mr Preston claimed that by identifying him in the court report, his family and his home were put in danger of reprisals and that no thought had been given by the newspaper for the welfare of his family.

In a decision published yesterday, the ombudsman said the convicted man was present in court when he heard Mr Preston give his evidence and the report did not give any additional information to the convicted man.

He also said the newspaper was fully entitled to report on proceedings that had taken place in open court.

Irish Independent

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