Gazette wins right to name mother of truants

Two
Western Gazette reporters have been victorious in overturning a Section
39 order, allowing them to name a mother who was prosecuted for
allowing her children to play truant from school.

Tom Bevan, the
Western Gazette’s Yeovil reporter, and Richard Birch, reporter for its
Crewkerne edition, challenged the order in a case which involved her
two 14-year-old sons not turning up for school.

They argued that
not only was the story in the public interest, but also that the mother
had initially approached them to put her side of the story. The pair
outlined principles highlighted by Lord Justice Simon Brown in R v
Crown Court at Winchester including “the prospect of being named in
court with the accompanying disgrace is a powerful deterrent”.

Their
success, which allowed the paper to run its front-page story in the
Yeovil and Crewkerne editions, follows a previous quashing of a section
39 order by the Western Gazette in a case involving a young baby who
was taken on a pub crawl by his mother.

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