A trainee newspaper reporter successfully persuaded a Crown Court judge to overturn a court order today only six months into her job.
Lindsay Pantry, a 23-year-old trainee with the Wakefield Express, told a judge at Leeds Crown Court that an order banning the identification of a 13-year-old boy accused of sexual assault was unlawful and should be quashed due to the public interest in the case.
Luke James Sharp was accused of sexually assaulting 75-year-old Rosemary Pagett in her home, 10 days before she died of a stomach ulcer. He was sentenced to four years in prison.
In a previous trial where the boy had admitted ‘sexually touching’the grandmother, he had been protected by section 49 of the Children and Young Persons’ Act and could not be named.
Pantry handed a letter to the judge that said: ‘The Wakefield Express respectfully submits that any such order should be lifted.
‘This case has received wide publicity, far beyond the close-knit community where it happened. The officer leading the investigation, detective superintendent Dave Oldroyd, described it as ‘a despicable attack on an elderly lady, who has sadly now died’. The public have the right to know the identity of the attacker.”
Express assistant editor Lisa Rookes said that Pantry, a Sheffield University graduate, had made the newsroom proud.
She said: ‘It can be a daunting experience for a senior reporter, let alone a trainee, to challenge in crown court. Lindsay worked incredibly hard over the weekend to compose the challenge by herself by doing extensive research into similar cases. We are very proud of her.”