Address ban: judge backs PA objection

A judge refused to make orders banning the media from publishing the addresses of two men charged with murdering a teenager who was stabbed at a bus stop, after objections by a Press Association journalist.

Reporter Damon Wake was allowed to stay in court when magistrates heard the application in camera after he notified the clerk that he wanted to object to the application.

Defence lawyers had sought bans on publishing the addresses of Nathaniel Darby, 20, of Wyrley Way, Erdington, Birmingham, and 18-year-old Damien Belle, of Heathway, Shard End, Birmingham, when they appeared in court on 12 March.

The pair — and a 16-year-old youth who is the subject of an anonymity order under section 39 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 — are charged with having murdered 16-year-old Odwayne Barnes, 16.

He died in hospital after being stabbed in a daytime attack outside a college in central Birmingham on 5 March.

Wake spoke to the Press Association's media law specialist Mike Dodd, who told him to object to the application on the grounds that section 11 orders should be made only when they were necessary in the interests of the administration of justice, and also on the grounds that there was also a risk that people entirely unconnected with the case might be misidentified as defendants.

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