Court sorry for notebook error

Wood Green Crown Court has apologised to Enfield Gazette reporter Nadia Gilani after a court usher insisted she hand over her shorthand notes during a court case.

Gilani was at the court to cover a high-profile case with a section 39 order when the clerk asked the usher to request that Gilani pass over her notes as the case was sensitive.

According the court, Gilani was overheard in a public area talking to other reporters about the case involving a grieving mother who stored her dead daughter’s body in a cupboard for four months, which had prompted the clerk to request the notes.

Gilani said: ‘I’ve never heard anything like this before. I was really agog. The usher took my notes away from me, which I knew was wrong, telling me there was a section 39 on the case. A section 39 isn’t there to ban you from writing anything down.”

A spokesman for HM Courts Service, London, said: ‘The reporter could be overheard talking to other reporters. Mindful of the fact that it was a sensitive case, the usher asked her to lower her voice and check whether she was aware that the trial was subject to reporting restrictions.

‘The usher should not have asked for her notebook. The court would like to apologise for the error.”

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